Stepping onto the Soapbox

I tend not to write here or elsewhere about current events, not because I have nothing to say, but more because I am not interested in being attacked for having an opinion that others may not agree with.

That said, I am rather appalled at what is happening in America, not because of who sits in the Oval Office, but more about the inability of Congress to properly represent 350 million Americans, the land we live on, the water we drink, and the air we breathe.

Currently, the Senate is debating the merits of a health care plan that does nothing better than the existing, flawed plan. The fact that any Senator finds depriving a single American of affordable health insurance acceptable means they are out of touch with their constituents. They are more interested in scoring points than helping their neighbors.

The notion that a much-needed overhaul of the tax system will not close loopholes, cut lobbyists out of the debate, and fairly help all 350 million of us, is also an example of not listening to the people.

And so on.

Instead, we have a Senate Majority leader who has no moral standing for what he’s trying shove through the system. Sunday’s Washington Post does a nice job of examining how his words are as meaningless today as they were when he was in the minority.

Similarly, our President has done nothing since taking the Oath of Office to heal the partisan divide he inherited and widened. No, he has instead added fuel to the fire. His executive orders and Cabinet choices weaken our personal privacy, harm the economy, weaken the environment, and have done nothing (yet) to put people back to work (largely through the disconnect between what jobs are needed and the jobs he is trying to bring back). He has also blatantly lied so often, in so many venues, that we can no longer take his statements at face value. When The New York Times can catalog this many lies in a mere six months, you know we have a credibility gap between the Oval Office and reality.

The world most of us live in is not the world the Cabinet seems to operate in. They live by ideology and ignore fact. We have Cabinet secretaries that seemingly live in the past are out of touch with current events. There’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions citing skewed stats to renew the war on drugs when the war needs to be fought elsewhere as brilliantly stated by Sally Yates. Then there’s Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin who earlier this year said the threat of artificial intelligence replacing human jobs was “not even on our radar”, saying it’s fifty to 100 years away. Last time I checked, Bixby, Google Home, Alexa, Siri, and their friends are here today with most tech companies looking to automate as much as humanly possible.

Our elected officials need a reality check, and it has to come from more than the “fake media” but all of us, challenging their thinking. Congressmen, like Ted Cruz, should not be modifying their thinking to please just their donors, but to respect the majority of the voices they represent.

There are some things we’ll never agree on with liberal and conservative points of view. But when it comes to helping one another drink clean water, breathe cleaner air, and have an equal opportunity for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we should all be on one page.

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