Much of my thinking time recently, as TheTentacle.com readers know, has gone to the anger underlying politics.
Back and forth on issues, not reliably liberal, my approach is frequently criticized by Democrats; rightly, because I consider my mentors Republican Sens. Charles Percy and Frederick’s Charles (Mac) Mathias.
Since moving to conservative Frederick from liberal Washington, most of my friends naturally are Republicans. But I’m very grateful for the patronage of educator – later Democratic alderman – William O. Lee, Jr., who grew and worked in segregation; he’s now deceased. City cop Michael Conover and wife Timmy bought my former home up North Market Street; from that happy happenstance they developed into steadfast friends. We kiss each other when we meet.
Late Colonial Jeweler Will Horowitz and his wife welcomed me to this community, and defended me against unwarranted charges my Middle East columns that questioned Israel’s tactics were anti-Semitic. They were not. But, as I wrote, I don’t want the Jewish nation to bring on the wrath that wiped out the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Their treatment of Palestinians reminds how the Crusaders were chased out by Muslims, for identical reasons. Furthermore, having known more than several Arabs, I love many – as human beings.
What most disturbs me about the widespread anger is the absence of humanity. I remain very furious at local politicians Jennifer Dougherty and Lenny Thompson because they used their official power to hurt people.
I feel the same way about the national movement to strip unions of their capability to negotiate; I know very well the unions that represent public employees are the present targets. But I grew up in an age when workers were regarded as serfs that changed when the American Federation of Labor asserted their rights. In open disclosure, I’m obliged to report the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists provide my backup to Medicare. In addition, I receive monthly $118.
Some 120 Frederick County employees lost their jobs through the current commissioners’ effort to balance next year’s budget. It’s not their fault but they’re paying the price from the fuzzy thinking, both Republican and Democratic, that created today’s economic crises. Split between the parties, friends and acquaintances want to pile on George W. Bush and Bill Clinton; in the end, as we say in my native Louisiana, “it don’t make no never mind.”
The only question relevant: How do we emerge from the quagmire, locally and nationally?
Blaine Young, as I wrote recently, is very capable of prodding Winchester Hall past the equivalent of the Red Sea; but still he’s no Moses. Blaine cannot propose a Ten Commandments, when followed assiduously protects taxpayers against future financial disasters. Nobody or nothing can.
My fear, the subject of this column, is the tumultuous anger might infect the republic; I’m afraid of that most of all.
Thank the One God; Congress has not deteriorated into a spitting, partisan battle, despite Nancy Pelosi’s rallying her liberal congressional constituency to oppose the stop-gap legislation to keep the machinery of government in business when the present budgetary legal limits expire.
We are all in the same boat, tossed around by circumstances beyond our control; each seeks someone else to blame. We did it ourselves: in greed, self-aggrandizement and total lack of objectivity. I wasn’t any better; worse. As a journalist, I failed in my responsibility to understand and lead you to understanding what was going on.
Still, I must object to the efforts to pin the failure donkey tales on any particular faction.