Dave Richards for January 8th….…………
--It’s been awhile, my friend. With the major holidays occurring on a Wednesday, I’ve been absent, sorry. Let’s see if I can start the new year with something to think about.
--A day or so ago I read this news headline, “President Trump made the first move of his re-election campaign Saturday when he launched “Evangelicals For Trump” in Miami.” Huh? Are these reporters so close to the drama and nonsense of national politics that they cannot see that the first move of Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign happened a very long time ago?
Here’s one example. I am sure the president knew he could not trust North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un to simply capitulate on the offensive missile issue. Still, the president ‘made nice’ with him and received a sizable dollop of criticism at home. It seems clear now to both sides that his demeanor was all a negotiating tactic. He knew eventually Kim would pull a temper tantrum and North Korea would look like the bad guy and he the good guy for trying to be nice.
Trump also knew he could afford to tick-off anybody in the House of Representatives because he wouldn’t lose an impeachment trial in the Senate. He had Speaker Pelosi right where he wanted her and she knew it. That’s why she wanted to wait on impeachment when other Dems were crying for the president’s head on a pike. Pelosi rightly figured a failed impeachment could be the downfall of her party and lead to the loss of seats in the House in an election year.
Pelosi also knew that she’d already probably lost because her party was already being torn apart by the radical elements which had infiltrated it. She’s still dragging her feet today on impeachment, which I don’t quite understand because it only makes the Dems look even worse in the public eye.
There are so many other examples, but for the sake of brevity let’s look at the latest ‘outrage’ the Democrats are accusing the president of, the recent fatal drone air-strike.
The so-called “Gang of Eight”, the people in congress who previous presidents have taken into their confidence before using their Commander-In-Chief powers to launch military actions, are outraged that they were not taken into Mr. Trump’s confidence this time. I shake my head. The fools.
First of all, the over-used word ‘outrage’ is getting a little thin when these people each day consider it an ‘outrage’ that Mr. Trump is still president for one more day. But word choice aside, no sane leader will confide their plans to their enemies. And the Democrats in Congress have clearly chosen to make themselves an enemy of this president. Further, why would any president give his sworn enemies the sensitive information they need to propel themselves from “fool” to “traitor”?
The members of the opposition party should have known this would be a consequence of their partisan actions, but they proceeded as if it were not important to them. Okay. But now it’s too late to take back that partisan impeachment vote. Consequences.
We can all wish these ‘leaders-in-title-only’ would work together for the good of us all. But that is not reality, apparently. The reality is that pettiness and political gamesmanship have always been a tool of people in high office. Used correctly, they are a way of being ‘passive-aggressive’ and affecting the behavior of others without really controlling them. But today’s politician, unskilled in the art of compromise and as selfish as a two-year-old rejects the fine art of leadership and makes it a death sport.
Back to re-election talk, the other thing nobody seems to be saying out loud is that this air-strike and the loss of human life it caused could easily be seen to be a part of Mr. Trump’s re-election strategy. To my knowledge, no sitting president has ever been replaced by election during an actual ‘shooting war’. I don’t mean a symbolic ‘war’, like the “War on Drugs” or the “War on Terrorism”. I’m talking about the kind of war where if you lose ‘you and your family will be killed by your enemy with pleasure’ war. Only a very few of us have ever lived through one of those. And the few who have are all in their 80’s and 90’s now and nobody seems to be listening to them anymore.
We should be. It sometimes seems that few of our leaders have ever cracked open a history book. You cannot change the past. You can only change the future. The wise leader should seek the advice of those who erred in the past.
And let me say just one more thing. Some of what we’ve discussed up to now can be accepted regrettably as “business as usual”. But one thing disturbed me more than all the other horrible details about last Friday’s air-strike. Afterward, a high-ranking member of our own federal government was quoted on the radio as saying, “nobody should shed a tear over the death of this man”, referring to the Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. I say this to you and to all the world’s people, “this official does not represent me”.
I do shed a tear over the death of all humans, even my enemies. If I must kill to defend myself or my family or my country, I will do what I must do. But I will never rejoice in the death of another. I may be relieved the threat is over. It may have to have been done. But to be happy my enemy is dead is, to me, absolutely and always wrong. And that, I believe, is what differentiates me from my enemies. I’m good with that.
--That's what I think. What do you think? Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. Thanks for reading.