Troy Rampy: Would that it was otherwise
July 6, 2018
We all know it. We see it nearly every day. People are beginning to "boil over" in regard to our current political environment.
Notwithstanding the financial crisis of 2008, our national psyche and sense of well being have not experienced this much tumult since the late 1960s.
Blurted epithets like those of Robert De Niro and the congressional intern, dismissive actions like that of the owner of the Red Hen restaurant, anguished statements from politicians like Cory Booker who recently said he is "… seething with anger" — these are daily becoming the lingua franca of our contemporary culture.
To read or listen to today's news is to know there is a growing number of people in this country and around the world who are expressing pitched anger, frustration, disbelief, and sadness while experiencing low-levels of depression as a result of what is happening in and to this country.
We seem to have lost a sense of who we are and what we stand for as a people, as a nation.
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We've been on this hostage ride-along for over two years, since the run-up to the 2016 election. The issue is not only what's happening at the Executive level; the broader question is, where is the Congressional leadership to provide real-world counsel, to temper the wild extremes, and to reign in the madness?
It has been said that our current president is galvanizing and corrupting the GOP and, as a result, will take it down with him. That truly would be unhealthy and unfortunate.
We need enlightened conservative leadership in this country. But currently, those leaders are MIA. Except for some GOP politicians like Bob Corker, Jeff Flake, Trey Gowdy, Lindsey Graham, ailing John McCain and now Paul Ryan, precious few others are standing up to the President's grab for what is verging on despotic executive privilege.
And in case you missed it, most of the individuals I just mentioned are not running for Congressional re-election.
So where does this leave us? It appears too many of our politicians, regardless of political affiliation, have plenty of opinions … but offer little in the way of truly inspired solutions. This leaves us in a perilously vulnerable place. We seem to have lost a sense of who we are and what we stand for as a people, as a nation. It's all too apparent that we are experiencing growing polarization and divisiveness.
And there is increasing disrespect and disregard from other countries, most noticeably our allies.
I don't know when this will be published. The unfortunate irony as I write this post on the Fourth of July, the 242nd anniversary of our nation's independence, is that this is, perhaps, the beginning of the end of our great democratic experiment, at least as we've known it.
Yes, it feels that dire.
Troy Rampy lives in Auburn.