Find the courage
to do what is right
I have been reading articles published in the RTD about the Ukraine investigation, “President orders staff cuts for security council” and “Ambassador to give deposition to House in impeachment probe.” It is interesting reading, but not pretty.
My conclusion here is that more people in the U.S. government need to do their actual Constitutional jobs. I am proud of Sens. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Ben Sasse, R-Neb., for speaking the truth on how wrong President Donald Trump’s conduct was on the Ukraine call. I am proud of U.S. Reps. Abigail Spanberger, D-7th, and Elaine Luria, D-2nd, who recognized publicly that the behavior of pressuring foreign governments for political help is barred by the Constitution and requires investigation. I am proud of people who are speaking up for the Constitution despite the personal risk of being voted out of office. And I am embarrassed and ashamed of many lawmakers who are remaining silent, or even defending the president, because they are afraid of being voted out.
I can remember Watergate. This is exactly the same. These scandals require investigation, following what the law says, and showing personal courage. Without that personal courage, the other two things do not happen.
Reader puzzles over
Why is reality so different from what I keep hearing? More than a year ago, I asked my tax CPA about the big tax cuts, and she said we would never really see it. Well, I immediately received a $120 a month tax break, with no end-of-year liability. I also just received a $220 tax refund from Virginia. Both the RTD and the state advised me it was due to the big tax overhaul. Seems like Virginia must have received excessive revenues from the new economy.
Next, I keep hearing that the economy isn’t really helping the middle class. Yet, every parking lot in the country has large “Help Wanted” signs. The jobs have starting salaries of $12 or $13, well over minimum wage, and big-box stores offer a career path, with benefits. I can remember 50 years ago, when I entered the workforce, that jobs like these would have been like manna from heaven. Of course, 50 years ago, we were expected to overcome problems like transportation, etc., on our own. Also, part of being responsible back then included getting good training. I got mine in the Navy, as a boiler man, which I used in the real world. I also took personal responsibility to use my GI Bill benefits to get a good college education, which I also used.
And finally, I kept hearing that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report would prove that President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election. Now, I have been told that the president asked foreign leaders to give him “dirt” on his political rivals. Yet, when Trump released the transcripts of the phone calls, there was no mention of dirt or rivals. But, that didn’t even slow down the condemnations. I said, “Of course, this president is always so subtle.” Or perhaps, they simply assume that their interpretations are really facts.
can be transformative
I recently attended the Weinstein-Rosenthal Forum on Faith, Ethics & Global Society at the University of Richmond to hear Andrew Solomon talk about radical compassion. Solomon is a writer on politics, culture and psychology as well as a professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University Medical Center. I express my appreciation for UR offering this free program of self-improvement where one can learn to have compassion in relationships. Solomon talked about how he faced rejection in his life because he is gay and how through compassion for himself he was able to conquer the problems he encountered. Solomon has written many books on depression and search for identity, and has written about how people can understand others through compassion. Solomon also discussed his recent visit to the southern border and the problems children of immigrants are facing. I am positive that the lives of those who attended this forum were enriched by Solomon’s enlightened talk on radical compassion.
How low can
Virginia Dems go?
Members of the Democratic Party of Virginia have shown by their actions just how low they will go to stay in power and to gain it.
They failed to force out Gov. Ralph Northam after the blackface scandal, and they failed to investigate claims of sexual misconduct against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax.
And now they’re reaching out to state Senate candidate Joe Morrissey, a man who had his law license revoked, in hopes of bringing him back into the fold.
It looks like he’ll make a perfect match with the rest of the party.
All citizens should know
As I read the editorial “Could you pass citizenship test?” last week, I could not help but think that a democracy is only effective if the citizens are educated to know how it works so that they can be responsive to it, and update it as necessary to keep up with the times.
One way to educate the public quite effectively might be to have a required civics class that would be mandatory for all students of the commonwealth.
It could be a part of the school curriculum, even if it was as simple as each one knowing the information that is included on the naturalization test given to those seeking U.S. citizenship.
This way everyone would be familiar with the fundamentals of the history, and the principles and the documents of the democratic form of government of the United States.
As the editorial stated, “American democracy depends on the active involvement of all citizens.”
Everyone should be accountable to know these fundamentals about our government and our history.
Otherwise, how can our democracy survive?