This past election was the 50th election I have had the privilege of voting in. If you read the Blog “Dream Debt,” done last August and archived here, you probably understand that I have been watchful and engaged in the decisions I and my fellow countrymen make, and who we send to Washington.
This is the 13th President I have experienced. Many Congresses have come and gone. But always, there have been major issues facing us. I have watched each President be willing to address one or two of them, and then “kick the can down the road” on the others. Whether it was lack of responsibility, courage, political will, intelligence, wisdom, talent, creativity, or a winning mindset, I don’t know. But, each President and members of Congress tackled something on behalf of the people, and crowed about their accomplishment. Usually it was the one they would receive the least criticism or resistance on. And in the name of bi-partisanship, they kicked the rest down the road.
The problem is the cans didn’t go away. Like trash in the environment, or a cancer growing, these issues have grown, festered, and have become a clear and present danger to this country and its future generations.
Here are a few of the “cans”. I am sure you will recognize them, and you may have been working on them yourself–sounding alarm bells: Social Security, Medicare, Immigration and Illegal Immigration, the Rule of Law and the will to enforce the laws enacted by our representatives, Medical Coverage (by the way we don’t have a Health Care problem in this country; we have a Medical Coverage problem), Drugs, North Korea and Iran, Russia and other nations meddling and stealing, Education, Equal Justice under the law, National Debt, and the Balance of Trade Deficit.
That last one is something most people know nothing about, yet it is a precursor to a whole host of other economic issues we have faced. When I was in college, my debate partner and I became national debate champions. The issue he understood so well, and which we annihilated our opponents on, was the issue of Balance of Trade Deficits. The other, more Ivy League-type schools didn’t bother to delve into that one. They kicked the can down the road and focused instead on the delicious, controversial topics related to the Viet Nam War etc. We were prepared on all the cans, however, and knew as a small college we couldn’t kick any can down the road if we had a winning mindset, and were determined to win.
Through my adult life, as I would watch Washington wimp out, I knew–and I hope you did too–that one day there would be an “end of the road.” And all the cans would pile up. Almost too terrifying to think of, isn’t it? Being at the end of the road, at the day of reckoning, confronted with the daunting task of handling them all–at once.
Moreover, as a young woman, and then as a middle-aged woman, I knew that some future President down the road would inherit them all. That President, as it turns out, is President Trump. Whether he desired this or not, the best image I can give you of how I see his situation is this: The President is standing at the end of the road, looking down at his feet, only to see he is knee deep in cans. Each one bears the label of one of the issues I mentioned–and many I didn’t.
But this President doesn’t just stoop down and pick up one or two. No, he looks at all of them and picks them all up at the same time. If I were to show you the next image in my mind, it is him standing there with his arms full of cans–not just one or two or three that he can juggle–ALL OF THEM. And in the mind bubble you see in cartoons, he is thinking, “Well, I have ideas on how to solve each of these. Something can be done about all of this. Let’ START.”
And for that reason alone–regardless of party, his background, his personality style, or anything else he is savaged for–I admire the man. He is the gutsiest President I have seen in my lifetime, and I for one wish him well, and plan to weigh in to help, not resist or obstruct. One man is standing at the end of the road, and the American people sent him there to handle the cans.
Personally I feel that praying people should pray that he has wisdom, understanding, vision, creativity, and strength. Because the most disappointing time in my life has been having to watch the attacks from members of both parties, the incompetence of members of both parties, the absolute abdication of all professional responsibility by the hate-filled Merchants of Chaos, and the cliched, parrot-like discussions of people who are quick to criticize, but who don’t even take the time to properly examine one of the “cans,” let alone understand it well enough to create a solution. Talk’s cheap, but trash talk and smack talk are even cheaper!
Solutions have apparently eluded some very fine minds over the years. Succumbing to an inability to achieve a solution, they caved, and sent the “can” down the road for future generations.
At least this President knows he works for ALL of the American people, and comes up with ideas daily on everything. I respect that. But, do we respect ourselves and our country enough to step up like mature adults, and put our shoulder to the wheel? Are we ready to grapple with the “hard?” Are we willing to be embarrassed, ridiculed, and criticized? Will we press on? Or will we spectate as if we are watching Cage Boxing, delighting at every drawn drop of blood?
I told you I am an optimist. I believe in the people of this country. I just feel we need to accept the responsibility that we caused our politicians to “kick the can down the road” because they were afraid of our ire. After all, we hold the power to vote them out of office. And since we didn’t want to face the solutions–which might involve personal sacrifice–we now are staring at the consequence of our own cowardice: a pile of cans at the end of the road. And one lone man–imperfect as he may be, or as imperfect as you may think he is–stoops down and picks them all up.
It’s New Year’s. What’s your resolution? I have made mine.