This is what I’m thinking about today. The United States is coming apart at the seams. And it’s self-inflicted. Civil discourse I feel is no longer possible not only in the United States but on the world stage. Fear, sarcasm, and ridicule seem to be the only methods we communicate with each other over differences. In some cases, physical threats. We are trillions in debt. These things are happening because of three things: power, passions, and appetites.
In the Diplomatic area,
Recently ambassador Nikki Haley stated clearly the United States would no longer be part of the United Nations Human Rights Commission. In her speech, she called the commission a “cesspool of political bias.” An organization responsible for stopping wars and genocide seems to have no problem with countries threatening the state of Israel. The leading candidate for President in Mexico openly stated it is a “human right” to live in the United States and he will flood our borders with people. A representative from California stated this past week to openly harass anyone part of President Trump’s cabinet while out in public. During an election in New York an avowed socialist defeated a10-term incumbent member of the House of Representatives.
In the Informational arena,
A great example of informational rhetoric on both sides of the aisle is the furor over the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. The right says elections have consequences, the left, if President Trump’s nominee gets approved specific laws concerning social issues, will be in danger. Danger how exactly? Someone actually said openly in public the President’s son should be jailed with pedophiles. The same representative of California I spoke of above has received death threats because of her open hostility towards conservatives. Why does anybody wonder a man would go into a news outlet in Maryland and kill five people and injure many more?
In the Military area,
American men and women in uniform have been engaged with our enemies since the 1991 Desert Storm war. The KC-135 I flew came into the Air Force inventory in 1957, over 60 years ago. Same with the B-52. The US military needs rest and recapitalization. But the price tag of doing so is so enormous both political parties cannot agree on how to do it. Do not get me wrong here… I am all for a strong military as we not only defend the US but our military has become an incredible humanitarian tool of compassion. But here is an example, the Lockheed F-35 stealth fighter program may be the first trillion dollar program. Do any of you know how much the US government spent on a World War II P-51 Mustang? The price tag in 1945 dollars was $50,985 for each aircraft. A stack of a trillion one dollar bills stretches 67,866 miles.
President Eisenhower warned in 1961 as he was leaving office, “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.” He went on to explain how it developed, “Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions.” Are we there yet?
Speaking of Economic and trillion,
For the first time ever in the history of the US, credit card debt in 2017 surpassed the 1 trillion dollar mark, the same amount of money being spent on the F-35 program! American households average $6375 in credit card debt. What would a trillion dollars do? One, you could pay $54 million a day for the rest of your life and still leave your children billions to live on. Two, you could buy every pro sports team… NFL, MLB, NBA, the NHL, and even NASCAR… and still have over three-quarters of your trillion in the bank. Credit card debt is killing households because we spend money on things we want but probably don’t need.
Power… Passions… Appetites. This coming Independence Day week let’s be a lot longer on love thy neighbor and a little shorter on the amount of burgers and fireworks we buy.