Sunday, January 6, 2019

Consider This - a New Year, New Beginnings


A new year.. a new you.. a new hope..

Considering how 2018 ended for myself, I can only hope as 2019 starts from the dregs of that previous debacle, it will get better. A new house for the family, with all the foibles and follies associated with such a major purchase, will certainly keep us busy as we unpack, clean up, and fix or replace the various items which need our attention.

Just like this nation needs attention.

2018 ended with the government initiating a partial shutdown, as the legislative branches and the president fought over a temporary budget fix to ensure federal operations continued. Since there was no agreement – nearly three weeks ago – the federal workers are furloughed, forced to work without receiving pay. Also, there is no guarantee they will receive back-pay for the time they worked without a check.

The discussions prior to this happening were all controlled by Trump, and he proudly proclaimed his desire to shut down the government, to own it all to himself, because he wants to build his “great wall” on the border. The moment federal operations were shut down, the man in the Oval Office took nearly every day to demean the system and deflect the root cause of this process onto the Democrats. Sure, he’ll take the blame – and throw it at anyone who doesn’t move or duck quick enough to avoid it.

All of this is over the construction of a wall, ostensibly for border security.

Consider this…

Walls have been built in the past – whether out of concrete (Trump’s favorite) or other materials. Yet the illegal immigration (and drug) problem has remained. Some have tunneled under, others have found ways to go over (packages sent over the wall with slingshot or catapult, or even just tossed over, if not brought through the tunnels going underneath). Low flying aircraft – and now even drones – have also been used to get through the border regions.

The wall won’t work. It is an archaic concept which has been unsuccessful since the start of the First World War – when the French though the Germans could never cross the Maginot Line, which was a combination of natural and man-made obstacles thought to be impenetrable – until the Germans introduced armored tanks into warfare.

A recent story which made it to social media caught my eye. In Vicky Alvear Shecter’s article What Happened When A Trump Supporter Challenged Me About the Wall the argument for and against was brought up in a forum, and she took the time to argue against the wall using known conservative sources. She makes eleven different points, complete with reference links, that discuss how ineffective and costly the building of this barrier actually is.

With the “Blue Wave” taking over in the nation’s capital, there is hope that “saner heads will prevail” and the government might return – at least in part – to working for The People. Some may consider this an attack on the Republican Party, and especially the man in the Oval Office, but considering the popular vote in this country for many years has leaned to a more progressive, open, Liberal ideal.

Has Trump really accomplished more in the last two years than any prior president (and especially, as often recounted, more in two years than Obama did in eight)? By decree, especially at the outset, there were many Executive Orders issued from the Oval Office, but most of them have been deemed illegal in part if not wholly overturned by the courts. International agreements were backed out of, and in only a few cases have they been renegotiated – and yet these have had little impact on the actual economy to date. Major global initiatives have been declined, with the noted Climate Change initiatives which Trump has refused to agree to – and in fact has pushed to relax current EPA standards and set this country back decades on advancing technology to improve fuel efficiency and control pollution.

Even the Affordable Care Act, while not the best attempt at initiating a nationwide healthcare system, has been shot down under the Trump Administration with no proposed replacement to ensure all citizens have necessary medical care.

The only people who have made out so far are those in the top one percent, thanks to the changes to the tax laws which give the richest even more of a tax break than ever before, and once again pushing the tax burden to the lesser… I mean, lower classes.

As an “Average American” I certainly do owe it to myself to speak out. With every word I type, every election I cast my ballot, I speak out. We can no longer be sheep to the process, and the newly elected members of the House of Representatives show what happens when The People take a stand. More women than ever before have been elected to office. Some of the youngest have been elected – I’m looking at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York – because they saw how bad it was just in her own section of New York, and managed to speak loud enough to get elected. She is just one of many who represent the future of this country, and if she wants to remain in politics I feel her path will be quite a notable one.

Someone else on these interwebs says the party in power is under attack. Yes, the GOP is certainly being put up against the wall, because their elected representatives have forgotten one of the basic tenets of this great nation – that it is a government “of The People, by The People, and for The People.” While this person might claim that Trump is not the issue, that he is duly elected and The People need to just “get over it” – I am here to say that Trump IS the issue.

As the government progresses through the third week of the shutdown, and even before the Dems took over in the House, proposals have been brought up through the legislature which BOTH parties agreed upon, and yet because there wasn’t enough wording – or funding – for Trumps Precious Wall, he vetoed it, and forced the shutdown to continue. Now with the Dems in control of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is bringing up a proposal which touches points which both sides completely agree upon – every part of this spending bill is what has already passed through the Legislature – and if Trump once again rejects it, he will prove that he is the problem…

…again.

I could go on about how Trump is unfit as leader, how the United States has become a pariah and laughingstock in nations across the world. Countries once allied with the U.S. now look askance, countries which once feared us now point and snicker, ridiculing Trump. He is not a good representation of who and what We The People are.

We are NOT sheep. We are not here to just exist at the whims of others. This country was founded on the principle of freedom and justice for all. We cannot continue to bow down to the government machine, but instead must remember that WE are that machine, that WE are in control of where this country is headed, and even with the GOP and Trump with most of the control, they only are in office because of The People.

The Blue Wave has begun, with small steps and not an overwhelming dichotomous shift, but instead a gradual, logical shift in public thinking. This wave needs to continue, just like a tidal change from low to high tide takes time. But, this shift is truly indicative of how the majority of this country feels, and in two more years the Wave can peak and regain control of the rest of the political machine that is our nation.

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