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The Tentacle


May 31, 2011

Political Experience

Roy Meachum

In last Tuesday’s column, I wrote how I professionally wait for newly elected officials to make their mark.

 

In particular, you will read no second-guesses here about the current Board of County Commissioners’ decisions so far, although I disagree with several. And I backed the majority, especially Blaine Young.

 

Blame the attitude on political experience. Campaign promises have frequently turned out to be little more than campaign promises. After all, the very essence of politics is compromise, at least under the American system. My youth’s Germany and Italy presented something else.

 

Every newly inaugurated president whom I voted against was accorded my support from the get-go. Readers convinced of my flaming liberalism might be shocked to learn I marked ballots for Dwight David Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon (against John Kennedy), and Ronald Reagan during his first presidential election. I also pushed the button for George H. W. Bush, but not his son.

 

On the other hand, when the younger President Bush was sworn in, I wrote a column asking readers for patience, on his behalf. Even candidates I supported in the voting process later turned out to merit my personal disgust by their performances in office. In any event, as I wrote last Tuesday, I’ve learned to wait for things to shake out.

 

As for President Barack Obama, I certainly don’t approve of everything he does; he displays much more tolerance than I’m capable of, as emphasized in this Arab Spring. Having lived in Cairo, I certainly have an appreciation for Washington’s role in establishing balance in the Middle East; but I wanted the White House to move much more quickly in backing the people. I understand domestic politics came into play in Libya; I never viewed Moammar Gadhafi favorably. He was a reptilian con-man going in. The years in power bloated his egocentricity and his savagery.

 

But I never understood why history’s first African American president received public shellacking before he sat behind the Oval Office’s desk. Simultaneously, the Tea Party movement came alive during Barack Obama’s progress toward the White House. Virtually all my black friends and many whites believe the country is dealing with racism, however it shakes out.

 

As I rightly recall, his Republican predecessor set in chain the runaway debt by lavish tax deductions and under-regulation. What had been a movement to keep the good times rolling, George Bush the son turned into a feast for the wealthy and businesses that supported the GOP, especially Wall Street. Billions in loans to automakers were initially blamed on Mr. Obama; when they were mostly paid back there were still dark mutterings at the man who now lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

 

Even when he gave the go-ahead to SEALs that eliminated chief terrorist Osama bin Laden, it was painful to witness how most of the Grand Old Party’s leaders bent themselves out of shape to avoid granting him credit, choosing instead to lavish recognition to his predecessor’s valiant efforts.

 

Although since turning 70, Medicare has been the mainstay of my rapidly deteriorating body, I must say the process needs reorganization. I was astonished to discover, although I pay little, how much the health care industry robs taxpayers. Now there’s talk of eliminating patients and treatments, instead of reexamine billing.

 

Makes no sense to me, although I understand full-well the nature of “a-gin” politics, not to be confused with “aging,” which is what I am. The journalism I grew up in believed private lives must be untouched as “private.”

 

Still I’m grossly appalled at the brutal attacks made on officials before they’ve had a chance to do harm to government, local and national.

 



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