It is said that the two worst things that can happen to you are breaking a hip and running out of money in retirement. I have experienced No. 1 and could be well on way to achieving No. 2 if Trump’s new presidency implodes, or that weird fat kid in North Korea blows things up. Something has gone very wrong. Our confidence has been severely shaken in our government’s competence and ability to preserve and protect us.
Worst of all is the emergence of a suspect media, which many feel can no longer be trusted to provide us with unfiltered facts. Liberal bias and prejudiced reporting has replaced balance, fairness and facts at the country’s three broadcast television networks, led by NBC. The major newspapers on the east and west coast have editorial boards who oppose the president and promote sanctuary cities. Associated Press, the only real wire service of any consequence remaining, frequently writes news stories seemingly laced with liberal slant and innuendo. Local newspapers sometimes seem to provide the only beacon in the fog.
Political leadership is lacking. We are not sure whether Susan Rice and the Obama administration worked secretly to defeat Trump and then to destroy his new presidency or that Trump and his people worked with Russia to defeat Hillary. In the Senate, historic tradition is challenged by a “nuclear option” to get a deserving and outstanding nominee named to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile the Republicans can’t agree on how to reform health care or our tax system.
These are serious times. Who can we trust anymore? The answer to this critical question is us. That’s right, “we the people” are the hope for survival of the Republic. Here is what we must do. Participate. Get involved. Study the issues. Contact your elected representatives. Start by running for local office yourself.
Polls show that 80 percent of Americans want cooperation and compromise instead of senseless partisan stubbornness. We must all demand that our politicians work together and listen to those who have elected them. Partisan politics is not working.
The country’s divide is caused by progressive-liberalism vs. tea party conservatism, embodied by the Freedom Caucus. The only answer is in the middle. Let’s examine what should be a common-sense agenda created by we the people for the politicians.
The major issues are the economy, health care, immigration, and foreign policy/national security. There is great hope on the first one, our economy. We finally have a pro-growth president, a businessman surrounded by other business people with good ideas. We have a real shot at tax reform and a burgeoning new economy. On this subject, urge your representative to work with business and pro-growth lawmakers to produce thousands of new jobs and a vibrant economy, hopefully climbing to a 4 percent annual increase in our gross domestic product.
Health care reform is urgently needed. All Americans must have the opportunity for health care. A public-private partnership with emphasis on a new, competitive insurance market crossing state lines, producing lower drug costs and providing independent choices is the answer. Pre-existing conditions coverage and help for those who cannot help themselves (Medicaid) are pre-requisites for political agreement.
Immigration is a problem that divides us and exacerbates all our other problems. The common-sense solution here is increased enforcement on our borders and an improved screening process for all new immigrants to protect us from infiltration by those who would destroy us. Legal immigrants deserve protection and illegal immigrants should be provided a path to citizenship if they are not a threat. However, dangerous illegals convicted of felonies or discovered to be supportive of our enemies must be deported.
Government’s first priority is our national security. We must resolve to be strong in the face of some of the greatest threats in modern history. Support a military capable of defending us against all threats, and a foreign policy that makes it clear that we will no longer be pushed around. Make it clear that all options are always on the table when any enemy threatens the U.S.A. We must work with friendly nations to create the strongest alliance possible, ready to defend freedom throughout the world. Unity of purpose is essential.
So the formula is a pro-growth economy, with health care available to everyone, sensible and protective immigration policy for all, and a strong, no-nonsense national defense and foreign policy.
Common sense and strength with compassion — a successful agenda for the politicians, from we the people, who elected them. We live in dangerous times and the clock is ticking.
Don Roberts is a veteran broadcaster, writer and political consultant. He has served Augusta as a city councilor at-large, charter commission vice chairman and utilities district treasurer.