As a kid growing up in Joliet, Illinois I was raised with the idea that politicians were patriots. Yes, patriots, and I have proof!
I was 4 years old when Dwight Eisenhower made a whistle-stop at Union Station in Joliet. My parents took me with them to hear his speech and when "Ike" walked down to shake hands in the crowd, my mom thrust me forward towards the World War 2 Commander and hero. He shook my hand, patted me on the head and told my mom to make sure that I grew up as a Republican. Oops...Sorry Ike.
I know that there were many times in our political history where smart, caring and successful citizens would put personal financial ambition aside. They would take a break from making big bucks in the private sector and run for office for a chance to advance the interests of the people.
In fact, there were Statesman in the past, not just Politicians. A "statesman" worries about the next generation and a "politician" worries about the next election.
Some will argue that President Eisenhower was not a great president, but he was to me and my parents. He was our biggest war hero, he could have rested on his laurels but he ran twice and won twice to become our president. And, he shook my hand and patted me on the head. Once again Ike, sorry that I became a democrat.
Unfortunately, politics has become much uglier since the day that I met Ike in 1952.
I have been stunned by the animosity between our 3 parties. Yes, three! The Democrats, the Republicans and the Tea Party. The politicians in all three parties are playing a giant game of highway chicken in which the driver who does not swerve will cause a catastrophic crash of our country.
Games of chicken are won by drivers who are able to convince their opponents that they won't swerve. All three parties have forgotten why they were elected as they fly down the highway in their deadly game.
Disagreement over the nations budget should be worked out through the constitutional process of majority votes in congress, followed by the Presidents signature or veto, and the right of Congress to override the veto.
Our legislators have created the disasters in our economy and now they are working to further destroy our economy when their demands aren't met.
I shudder at the thought of Medicare being turned into vouchers that are funneled to private companies and turning Medicaid and food stamps into block grants delivering less to the needy. Right Ike, I am a democrat. Sorry.
Standard & Poors has downgraded America's credit outlook All three parties are still pointing fingers at each other forgetting that when you point an index finger, three fingers point back at you.
Stop the game of highway chicken between the parties. Stand up...Do the right thing...Become Statesmen, not Politicians.
Once again Ike, sorry about the democrat thing. You are still a hero, a patriot and an honorable man.
We need many more of you now.