Publisher’s Corner

Which side of history will you be on?

These can be trying times when talking politics. One of my good friends, doesn’t like Trump, but he thinks the president has been treated unfairly by the Democrats. He also blames the “liberal press” for much of Trump’s woes. I give him the “Trump reaps what he sows” speech but to no avail. Politics is tribal. People feel better when there is someone to blame. I have no love for this president as he is deconstructing long-standing environmental standards for air, water and public lands. He cares not for public healthcare. He has little or no regard for the rule of law and yet he enjoys an incredibly high approval rating from his own party. The Republican party, which my mother belonged to and once touted itself as the party of “law and order.” My friend said he can’t believe the Democrats might nominate a “Socialist.” I replied that I think Bernie made a mistake by tagging himself a Democratic Socialist. I get it, he explains how we already enjoy many “socialistic government” programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public schools, transportation, food & housing assistance, defense, farm subsidies, corporate welfare, IRS, FDA, etc. He tries to make his point but it falls on deaf ears that only hear the word “Socialist.” Words matter. Trying an educational approach only works on those who appreciate a lesson in social studies. The truth is, Trump has brought the rich the tax cuts they so desired, the conservatives the judges they wanted and rural America the protection of God and guns! It is easy to see why the president’s base supports him. The rest is politics and it can get nasty at times. But before we light our hair on fire again and again, politics has always been nasty. The day Bill Clinton and Barack Obama got elected the Republicans fought to make them one-term presidents. That’s just the way politics rolls. George W. Bush was constantly trashed as dumb as a rock. And now Donald Trump offers up daily tweets that create division and turmoil. You can’t make this stuff up. But why are we surprised when politics gets political. There is plenty to get angry about when your party is not in power. My good friend has three adult children who are very accomplished and he is very proud of them. He admits that they will probably vote for Bernie. A Socialist? I am beginning to think that some of us old guys are out of step. My adult daughters are Bernie fans, too. Maybe it is time to leave all this to the younger generation. I know there are times when we think our kids don’t know their head from a hole in the ground, but they are the future and maybe the future is now. I am not sure what we are looking for in a president anymore. I used to think there was something to be said about character and honesty. Could political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli have been right when he said that “the ends always justifies the means, no matter how cruel, calculating or immoral those means might be.” I would like to think otherwise. I guess history will be the judge. Which side of history will you be on? 

 J.B. Lester; Publisher