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Trump-Lewis Standoff Shows Diminishing America

by John on 01/17/2017

trumpvlewisontwitterThe media kerfuffle between President-Elect Trump and John Lewis shows the real problem facing Americans.

We are becoming less American.

Hear me out.

Most of us associate first with a group, an ideology, or a special interest — more than we see ourselves as citizens of the United States.

I’m liberal. I’m conservative. Women’s rights human rights.  Black Lives Matter.  Pro Life.  Pro Choice.  Free-trade is killing my job. I want free college tuition. Don’t touch my Medicare. 

john-lewis-meet-the-press-exlarge-169There are very few symbols left in our democracy that allow us to come together as a nation like a presidential inauguration.  (Maybe St. Patrick’s Day?)  A U.S. Presidential Inauguration is something few countries have: a peaceful transfer of power.

This unique “coming together” has been threatened for a while now.

But why are we like this?  Why are we so anxious to be on a smaller team?

Three reasons.

  • The first reason is money in politics. Special interest money pays (bribes) our lawmakers to choose a certain issue for a small group of people against another group.  Some examples: the mortgage interest deduction favors homeowners over renters at the expense of the federal budget; health care deduction for businesses favors bigger companies over individual entrepreneurs while reducing jobs and raising healthcare costs.
  • The second reason is the media. The media’s biggest bias is the entertainment bias.  They have to entertain you to get you to keep watching.  So instead of solid information, they give you Team-A vs. Team-B in a battle that forces the audience to cheer for one side against the other while foregoing solutions to problems.
  • The third reason is progress. Take your smart phone.  It gives you lots of power. You speak your mind instantaneously. Your previously private thoughts are broadcast around the world.

You could be brilliant in 140 characters and the world applauds you from a far.  But you could be snarky or deceitful and you don’t have to physically confront anyone.

But that safety is true for the receiver of the information.  Watch people in public. They pay more attention to their phones than the people they are with.  (I plead guilty.)

Why?  It’s easier and safer in your private closed world to find information that feels good.

So, like becoming fit, to be a better American, you need to get out of your comfort zone.

That means Trump needs to put down the Twitter machine and act like the leader of America and not a portion of populist bullies. (He also needs to know the geography of Lewis’ Atlanta District.)

And John Lewis and all the Democrats need to attend the inauguration.

Sure, the Russian connection to the election smells funny.  Were the voting machines tampered with?  Probably not.

But did Russian hackers understand the ideological split and how to manipulate the uninformed masses?  Maybe.

Did the Comey letter look odd in light of the Trump info that was not leaked until after Election Day?  Sure.

But we don’t know if any of it is true — yet.  No one knows now.  NO ONE!

So, I would say to Congressman Lewis: we should investigate the alleged illegitimacy of the election; but do it in Congress, not during the inauguration.

What’s worse, by failing to attend the inauguration, Lewis is perpetuating the political stalemate – or dead brain think — that both parties use.

Plus, there are reports Lewis has done this before.  Lewis allegedly skipped the inauguration of George W. Bush in 2001 for similar reasons after the hanging chad recount and SCOTUS ruling.

Hey, if anyone has a beef it is Hillary – and she is attending.  The Obamas could be the same way knowing Trump is planning to go counter to a big part of his policies from the last eight years.

But the biggest fault I see with the inauguration snubs is that it doesn’t solve any problems.

In fact, it puts us back into the same situation we were in 2008 which led to a lot of the upheaval we face today.

When I hear Lewis describe Trump as illegitimate, I also hear a cacophony of old echoes: Trump screaming birther; and Mitch McConnell vowing to make Obama a one-term president.

What did those low-thinking sentiments bring us?

The damaging Congressional Sequester which led to:

  • This than stellar economy with lots of under-employed people;
  • The Benghazi attack due reduced security;
  • US Armed Forces at its lowest in a long time;
  • A missed chance to resurrect the economy with a well-thought out plan.

That plan was Simpson-Bowles.  But Obama and then-Speaker John Boehner shelved the report.  Why?  Because they realized neither party could win re-election if the plan was implemented.

And what was the plan designed to:

  • Reduce the national debt
  • Grow the economy
  • Share the pain – in either taxes or spending cuts – across all portions of the U.S. population.

Sounds pretty good, huh?  But they dropped it.  They pushed it away without even trying it.  Instead, they used a butcher-like approach to the budget that made no sense while ignoring the years of research and experience from a bi-partisan group of Americans looking for a real solution.

Just think about it.  Six years ago, we would have started reducing our debt, fixing our tax structure, worked on saving entitlements, invested in infrastructure and job re-training.  Six years ago!

Are we doing it all over again?

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