"Cri de Coeur" - my exclamation after reading about what our governor, and many legislators feel about our federal government. It's my cry since the wife is babysitting our two-year-old granddaughter and it concerns and troubles me greatly wondering what kind of country and world she'll have in 20 years
I also must comment on some recent commentaries and the state of our great political process of choosing a president.
After reading the recent Homer Beauchamp and Steve Olsen commentaries, ("Just the fact's ma'am" and "Many Utahns buy into unreasoned hatred of President Obama") I found myself feeling pretty good that at least two people out there agree with me. We also agree on how the process got so out of whack and provides, at best, a voice but nothing else to that group in our population collectively known as "We the People."
I sat through the regular network debates and came away with two opinions. I'm reminded first of a "Deadwood" TV series line in an episode that I paraphrase..."Except when they're lying to you...those candidates are the most honest men you'll ever meet." The second, more troubling thought, is that I believe more and more of the electorate, on both sides of the aisle, are severely uninformed on how our government is designed to function.
I've written on this page before concerning my suggestions that we should do away with Congress, how we should take care of our national deficit/debt, the federal/state relationship, and how we should let the branches of government function as originally intended by the founders.
I'm more convinced than ever that we have to do something to get Congress to do its job, honor its oath of office, and fulfill its constitutional duties. We have to hold Congress, first and foremost, accountable for its inaction.
During the debates, most of the candidates regularly spew forth the vitriol, rancorous, outright visceral, toxic statements of how every one of the nation's problems are the fault of the current administration over the last three years. And worst, that if they're elected, all these problems will be solved, fixed, corrected by close of business on Jan. 21, 2013. Do they really believe this? Do the people listening to them really believe this? Do you believe this?
A Kentucky senator was clear that he wants to make Obama a one term president. Many from his party agree with, support, and are trying to make this happen. An issue appeared during the debates and Sunday talk shows is in trying to get Congress to work together. How would the candidate handle this between both houses and between the Congress and the White House? How would he get all sides to make some kind of compromise or progress to get something passed to make the country better?
But what does one candidate continue to harp on against another candidate? That he sat down with the Speaker, who was a member of the other party and agreed that on one issue they work together? This action toward bipartisanship is attacked as a great moral, ethnical, and patriotic failure.
Another candidate clearly states one of his first acts would be to repeal ObamaCare. Does he believe he can do this after he takes office? Do the people who vote for him believe he can do this? He also states that he will lower the tax rates. On all statements, really?
Another candidate's sole platform is to make the president the issue in the race. Again, does he and all viewers really believe that the president caused, and is responsible for all the problems, situations and condition of the country and world, and that by just replacing him, these problems will be rectified and solved?
In a statement on the State of the Union speech, Utah's sanctimonious senior senator, sans actually washing his hands, did his best Pilate impersonation ("I am innocent of ...") stating Obama, on his own, is responsible for "more government, more taxes, more spending and more debt." After 30-plus years in the Senate, all these things occurred between 2009 and now?
This is the frustrating part of our democracy. I have no problem and even encourage strong convictions during discussion, debate, and even argument over ideas, policies, and programs. But once a bill becomes law, with or without the president's signature, it's the president's duty to enforce it.
Whether the issue is Social Security, food stamps, defense, foreign aid, infrastructure construction, salaries, child support, bridges to nowhere, space shuttles, education, war, or Medicare prescriptions (by the way -- how did the senior senator fund this benefit?); if Congress doesn't want to fund it, change the law.
These candidates are playing and speaking to a small group. This group, which probably includes a good many Utahns, wants the red meat. I, as a candidate for city office, did not sign the voluntary Pledge of Fair Campaign Practices. I would have signed The Mormon Ethnic of Civility mentioned by Olsen. I strongly recommend all voters, when listening to all candidates, keep these values in mind with emphasis on the value of honesty in what one candidate says about another as well as the candidate's own record of accomplishments.
What I'm suggesting, for the good of the country, and my granddaughter, is that with the red meat being offered, take some vegetables and maybe a little dessert. Vote therefore as an individual, not as a herd. Just as we're to 'borrow short and lend long,' it will be a much better, and healthier, meal in the long run.
Thompson lives in Ogden.