Sunday soliloquy

A soliloquy is defined as an act of speaking one’s thoughts aloud when by oneself or regardless of any hearers, especially by a character in a play. Since William Shakespeare’s birthday is tomorrow, per advance reporting by Kim, I hope you will join me for these thoughts and offer a comment or two. I will try to use fewer words than the bard.

I am puzzled by an ongoing problem. People are usually mortified to learn they have been fooled or left out of something. Then, why would they get information from such disreputable sources who have been proven time and again to lack veracity? It could be repeated conspiracy stories from social media, a legislator, an opinion host or a former legislator or just erroneous use of facts or wanna-be facts. Strong suggestion – check your sources and stories, especially if the name of the source cites someone named Trump, Johnson, Gohmert, Taylor-Greene, Nunes, Hannity, Cruz or Carlson.

It matters not which political party a member of a legislative body belongs to, when he or she dishonors the office, either severely or on a routine basis, the member must be punished under the rules of governing body, ranging from censure, removal from committees or removal from office. And, it must not be “gotcha” politics – to be frank, a political party should try to clean up a mess before it gets to the actions of the whole body. The Catholic Church learned much too late, they needed to clean up its pedophile priests problem as it tainted the reputation of the whole. Police departments are only beginning to learn this truth about needing to address those over-zealous folks in their ranks. There are no perfect people, so why should we expect any group to be perfect?

Groups of people, whether they are legislative bodies, companies, organizations, or governments must not and should not punish the truth tellers in their midst. There are many reasons to have concerns about actions of the former president, but his firing of inspectors general and people who testified under known-in-advance risk disgusted me. Congressional sycophants of the former president left these honorable public servants hanging as they rationalized his deceitful, corrupt and even seditious actions. He is “just rough around the edges” we would hear. Lying is not rough around the edges, it is deceitful.

Let me close with a note to Democrats. Please do your best to govern. If one of your party has acted poorly, chastise his or her actions and remedy the matter. Just because it is your tribe does not make it OK. Bill Clinton balanced the budget and more jobs were created on his watch than under any other president, but he still was a womanizer who had one known affair in the White House and lied about it. Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi et all will make mistakes – own up to them and remedy them where possible. And, when a member says something inane or mean-spirited – say so.

We need truth tellers in both parties. We need honorable public servants. Right now, democracy is under attack, which is directed at the wrong problem. Our problem is not the wrong people voting, it is not enough people voting. Where our elections really have concerns is in the amount of money it takes to get elected. A legislator, at best, will be mildly subjective because of funding to get elected. This is the best argument for term limits and legislating out the Citizens-United and McCutcheon SCOTUS rulings. Maybe if the money influence wanes, less money will be funded.

22 thoughts on “Sunday soliloquy

  1. You’ve made lots of good points here, Keith. People need to be held accountable for their own actions. We can’t always be criticizing groups as a whole. But as they say… one bad one in the batch, can ruin the whole bunch.

    • Michelle, so true. And, if we do criticize, we need to say something that does not indict everyone in said group. A good example is the police have a tough job, but even with training do mistakes. Yet, they also have a few zealous folks who have shown racist tendencies. We need them to police themselves and weed those folks out. If we indict the whole group, that is both wrong and serves little purpose. Keith

      • I wholeheartedly agree… I think the biggest problem is when people don’t see the good that some groups do. The media tends to portray all the bad and leads us to one side. We need a news channel that can give us the heartwarming stories too! Sometimes we remain one-sided due to personal experiences. But we have to remember that nobody ever shares the exact same life experiences. The longer we live, the more we tend to realize that there are two sides to every story, and sometimes we just need to consider both sides.

      • Michelle, well said. Groups are more than their worst actions or members. Negative news gets more airplay, so people paint their impressions with too negative a brush. Keith

  2. Hello Keith. I find it interesting how people can be led deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole of extremism. There was a young man in the news a few years ago who got into white supremacy / racism by watching suggested videos by the YouTube algorithm. The more he watched of it, the more it showed even more racist stuff. As for far right media and their opinion hosts they use emotion to hook the viewer and ramp up the emotions to keep them viewing. The more they can use fear and anger to keep the person watching riled up, the deeper they can pull them into the far right weeds. When people’s emotions are stoked that much it produces a reward chemical in the brain. These people come to desire it. We as a nation have to find a way to combat and defuse that situation. Hugs

    • Scottie, now it is harder with the ability to stay in the information bubble you choose. These folks do not realize that the folks spewing nonsense are in fact spewing nonsense. I did like that Doonesbury had a strip on Marjorie Taylor Greene’s inanity in today’s paper. I also believe we ask questions and listen to responses then follow-up. People do not want to be considered foolish, so if someone listened to them and said, you might want to check your sources, I don’t find that to be true, it may sink in a little. Keith

  3. I am reminded of my son, when he was fifteen, asking me what will become of our world if people are not accountable for their actions. He’s thirty-three now and it seems his words were prophetic. The emphasis is, as they say, on the wrong syllable.

    • VJ, he was indeed prophetic. What amazes me is if these folks were people’s bosses, the people would have put their resumes together a long time ago and left the bosses behind. I have long said the happiest people in America were the ones who turned down the opportunity to work for the most recent former president. The second happiest were their spouses. Keith

  4. All excellent points, my friend. And while I agree with all you say, I especially think we must have term limits and reverse Citizens United and McCutcheon … quickly! Even one member of the Supreme Court who voted for it at the time, later said that Citizens United was the worst mistake the Supreme Court had made. Oh … and thanks for not speaking like the Bard … much easier to understand this way! 😉

    • Thanks Jill. Both of those court rulings were god-awful. It set the stage for dark money to fund even the smallest of elections without much disclosure. Keith

      • I agree … I don’t know what the Justices were thinking on those, but they have led to certain politicians being ‘owned’ by the fossil fuel, gun, and other industries.

  5. Note to Readers: One thing I would like to add is we need to call out blatant disinformation whether it comes from a pseudo-news source or a party leader. At a Republican party event, a speaker is telling the crowd the George Floyd killing was staged. And, in several venues the January 6 insurrection is being blamed on Antifa to sway people from the truth the former president invited these folks to DC and sicced them on the Capitol. These are bald faced lies in attempt to sway an uninformed cadre of voters. They are actually insulting these voters, in essence, saying you are so gullible, we can convince you of anything. People need push back and demand the truth. Both parties misinform, but the Republican party has hard time telling many consistent truths and that frustrates me as a former member of both parties.

  6. Note to Readers II: If you are following what has happened in North Carolina, the Republican Speaker of the House, Tim Moore, pushed through a bill under which he and other co-sponsors will benefit financially. This is a conflict of interest. He was called on the carpet by a senior Republican Representative Julia Howard.

    Who was punished? Howard, the truth teller, was removed from a key Finance Committee post. The Charlotte Observer ran two excellent pieces, one of which a terrific political cartoon by Kevin Siers with Tim Moore as the Queen of Hearts They also printed my letter to the editor. This is the kind of BS that we do not need. We need to protect our truth tellers not the unethical actions.

    “Thanks for the article and Kevin Siers’ cartoon on Rep. Julia Howard’s courageous act. North Carolina’s Republican House Speaker, Tim Moore, pushed through legislation from which he will benefit financially. That is not ethical, in my view.

    Howard, a fellow Republican called Moore and others on the carpet for their conflict of interest. And, her reward is to be removed from her committee. She served North Carolina well in this regard. The Speaker seemed more self-motivated.”

    • Jill, more focus is on the terrible Citizens United decision, but the McCutcheon one allows an entity from across the country to fund a political campaign, which is terribly unfair and intrusive. So, a good candidate may get outgunned 100 to 1 on campaign money and the airwaves are flooded with misinformation. Keith

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