My brother and I enjoyed a wonderful childhood on our small family farm. We were poor financially, but rich in love and attention. We were blessed with good parents.
Dad would point out the mysteries of the night sky. He taught us the sounds of the darkness, the deep bass of bullfrogs, the haunting sounds of owls, the melancholy call of the whippoorwill and the exciting (if somewhat scary) yips and howls of coyotes on the hunt.
He taught us how to behave with animals and how to recognize signs of danger. He taught us to identify trees and plants. He took time to show us a nest of baby rabbits, the den of a raccoon and the sounds of wild geese in flight.
When we were old enough, he taught us how to work and assume responsibility. We knew that the welfare of the family relied on the chores we performed, that our food came from the ground and that we had a responsibility to care for the land.
I am fortunate to walk the same ground Dad walked, to see the things he saw and to use items he used. The land is filled with memories of a man I knew and loved, a man who understood what it meant to be a father.
“An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.”
“We are all, first, Americans.”
“We are strongest when we are unified and work together for the common good.”
“We as Americans are blessed by a free and open society.”
“My colleagues and I are taking the time to reflect on our deep divisions and the caustic tone of congressional debate and remember we are all on the same team. Maybe it’s a mere moment, maybe it won’t last.”
“Our country will always be a beacon of freedom.”
True on Tuesday.
True on Wednesday.
When shots rang out the Wednesday morning, aimed at members of Congress, the message that many Americans are angry should have finally been received.
I wondered whether the GOP has any idea why people are so jaded. Last month, Republican Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho said, “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.” Under the proposed GOP plan, that ambulance ride and ER visit necessitated by the gunshots would not be covered for many Americans.
How about if these victims receive an opiate for their pain? Many become addicted after just one week of therapy.
Under Obamacare, members of Congress and other Americans enjoy coverage for drug rehab — a benefit, of course, that the GOP would deny their constituents.
So in the aftermath, the public watches. Closely. We watch for something positive to come of the horror.
Calls for unity always follow cases of acute lead poisoning, but they never last long. President Donald Trump blasted the Democrats just five hours after his own speech.
We hope. Show us, Congress, that you are capable of more, of seeing outside battle lines, partisanship and hate. Show us that you remember we are out here.
Why we’re here
I believe that Victor Davis Hanson missed the mark on why President Donald Trump won the election in his June 16 column, “Can the divided two Americas survive as a single nation?” (13A)
Trump went totally against Republican orthodoxy in his talk about jobs, trade deals and the plight of working people. He acknowledged their pain and proposed doing something about it.
I am not a fan of Trump, and I see that he mostly isn’t going to fulfill his promises.
People in America are hurting. When both parties realize that and do something about it, we will be whole again.
If the shoe fits
In regard to a possible (and needed) investigation into how Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ campaign got ahold of a donors list from The Mission Continues, his spokesman, Parker Briden, states that calls for such an investigation were simply “temper tantrums from career politicians.” (June 15, 3A, “Greitens dismisses call for investigation into use of list”)
I may be mistaken, but doesn’t Greitens aspire to become a “career politician” himself?
Also, Todd Graves of the Missouri GOP says the governor is shaking up Jefferson City to put an end to politics as usual. It seems that admitting to a violation of campaign finance laws and paying a fine indicates that Greitens defines “politics as usual.” It’s OK when he is the beneficiary.