It’s Almost Over, Right?

November 01, 2016  -Steve Hays


Talk about what’s typical about the circus our political season has become! I was just finishing with writing this when everything changed—again.

 What I originally wrote was daily becoming more and more obvious. Many people were saying how wonderful it was the election would soon be over and we’d be getting back to “normal.”

I wondered if people really believed that—and was thinking it might be a good time to sell a used car.

Would we really be getting back to our lives? Would all the crazy boasts, roasts, accusations, revelations—and distractions—really end? Was the end in sight?

Most of us hoped that we might get back to talking about some issues that relate to our lives—personally and/or collectively. Or issues needing some leadership and political cooperation not receiving attention.

For instance: when the Soviet Union decided they wanted an outlet, a port city, for their oil, they decided their pipeline pathway was to go across Afghanistan. The Afghani’s didn’t like it and what happened next was what became known as Russia’s Vietnam. It didn’t work out.

Today Canada sees their pipeline outlet to the sea going south of them—all the way across the U.S. to the Gulf of Mexico.

My question is: Shouldn’t the Canadians be using their own army to get their pipeline built and “protected”? Are they paying the US police force assembled from six states? Good trick. If they used their own army maybe we’d notice.

They have their own ports to the east or west, but it’s easier to build across the US. Saves them money. Fewer messy oil spills—for them. Maybe too easy.

For me, getting back to normal means getting back to some real issues such as the heroic efforts of the Natives of the Dakotas and the consequences of promoting outdated and polluting energy systems.

Unfortunately, what’s clear is that what looked like a last hurrah for those who think they can force their way on others—on individuals, groups and the world—will continue. Isn’t that the philosophy we want voted out? Most of us learn though life that we have to find ways to cooperate to be really effective at getting what we want.

More than that, working cooperatively toward a common goal most often brings in different ways of thinking and different viewpoints that synergistically attract even better ideas and ways of accomplishing common goals.

What gets in the way is holding on to old ways of doing things—old technologies and refighting old fights—like when Sen. John McCain came out and reversed the Republican position that the next president would be allowed to choose who is appointed to the Supreme Court.

Clearly there will be no coming together. The Utah representative who is replacing Rep. Darrell Issa as chairman of that House committee—you know, the one with the license to investigate whatever they feel like—has said that he wants to reopen the Benghazi “case.”

He doesn’t accept the findings of the previous House investigation, and thinks that spending more time on it is required. It’s already been investigated longer than 9/11. At least Issa is “thorough.”

They won’t have as much power, of course, if Republicans lose the House. Who knows?

With these distractions, however, there never seems to be time to move on to the new issues of the day. How do we produce energy more cleanly? Why do we allow the same company that reduced water safety standards in Flint, MI to do the same in Pittsburgh, PA? Do you know that there is a state initiative in Florida to outlaw rooftop solar systems? It’s financed by the Koch brothers. Not sure how it’s bad for capitalism, but it does get in the way of their profiteering ambitions.

Seems like we’re in the old world at times, doesn’t it?

We want to fight the abortion rights fight over and over. We want to use old, obviously dirty and polluting methods of growing food and producing energy. We embrace politicians who want to control people’s lives instead of governing our common, natural resources.

I am hopeful that some of this will change—and change is really our only constant as a nation. The young people get it, but too many of us still allow money to talk louder than people, and to think that when “money talks” it’s important, it’s right and ought to be embraced. If it’s good for money, we all win. Really?

My hope is that people will see beyond the distractions that money and the media feed. After watching Trump for the last year, and seeing how he has alienated one group after another, I have to wonder why some think a Trump Administration will be different?

Would we be making mutually beneficial, cooperative agreements all over the globe to address our common problems? Or would we be forming us-vs.-them alliances to power our way toward what’s good for money and “country”? Or would the nation be in the same shape as his campaign? Don’t we deserve more clarity and new approaches?

What threw me off and had me rewrite this column was when FBI director James Comey decided to get involved in politics. The FBI has always had a policy of allowing elections to proceed without influencing them, even waiting to issue subpoenas until after an election. They’ve always keep quit and investigated until certain—until recently.

Don’t we all know where is is going? If one side wins James Comey has a bright future ahead of him. Or will we remember that Hilary Cinton has had the last 30–40 years of her life endlessly investigated—undeniable, right?

People make their living on endlessly investigating her. After all this time, how is it that nothing has appeared that has led to her being indicted or convicted? Do they honestly think something new will come out of nowhere?

If for no other reason, nothing will happen because if they did indict her over the way she handled her email accounts, wouldn’t they have to indict Colin Powell, George Bush and Karl Rove too?

When Congress wanted to see White House emails in 2007, Rove said they used the RNC server—that’s the Republican National Committee system—and they lost the emails Congress wanted. All one million of them. The issue died. No one with money—no media—kept it alive.

Simply put, there are some mean people out there—ones with the money to keep the conversation alive. Personally I can’t help but wonder if a little less testosterone in our approach might help us. You can’t say women are less protective of their family.

Meanwhile some want us to be distracted or walk away disgusted. Who does that serve? Doesn’t it just allow those who make money at our expense—at the expense of the country’s resources and people—to continue on that path without getting the attention they deserve?

Fortunately, it’s not all about the winning candidate. The promises that the candidates are making can be accomplished only with Congress. It’s a group effort. That’s how our system of government was set up. It’s time to work together.


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