A VOICE FROM FLY-OVER COUNTRY
August 25, 2017
Where Have All the Statesmen Gone?
by Robert L. Hale
fitzgerald griffin foundation
Minot, North Dakota – Recently violence erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia. Following that violence our political leaders committed violence upon reason, logic, and civil and rational discourse. Rather than address the violence they attacked the President. Rather than bring calm and bring the two sides together, they actively and aggressively did the opposite.
Had the permitted demonstrators been left unmolested to exercise their constitutional right to assemble and express their views, there would have been no violence.
A permit was issued to a group seeking to exercise their right to assemble, petition and express their objection to the removal of Confederate flags and monuments from public places. Whether one agrees with the opinions of others, their right to express them has, for more than 220 years, been enshrined in our national character, as well as our Constitution. No longer are these rights apparently to be respected and exercised by those with whom one side or the other disagrees.
The legally permitted demonstrators were met by hundreds of counter demonstrators. These unpermitted demonstrators (counter demonstrators) attempted to interfere and disrupt those expressing their opposition to removal of the Confederate flag and public monuments from public places.
The two groups ended up violently clashing. There was no rational and factual discourse exercised by either group. One person was killed by a truck driver. Two helicopter pilots were killed when their helicopter crashed.
Following the initial tragedy, rational and factual discourse has not been engaged. Instead the blame game and political agendas are now in full swing. …Our news media, political pundits and elected officials are seeking to profit from this tragedy!
The fallout from this violent clash has highlighted how little rational and factual discourse exists in America today. Those screaming the loudest and looking to place blame are actually the ones responsible. Had the permitted demonstrators been left unmolested to exercise their constitutional right to assemble and express their views, there would have been no violence.
Following the initial tragedy, rational and factual discourse has not been engaged. Instead the blame game and political agendas are now in full swing. Rather than focusing on the participants, their actions and their responsibility, our news media, political pundits and elected officials are seeking to profit from this tragedy!
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) announced the day following the violence he was introducing articles of impeachment against President Trump. The charge being brought against President Trump by Rep. Cohen is, "Instead of unequivocally condemning hateful actions by neo-Nazis, white nationalists and Klansmen following a national tragedy, the President said there are very fine people on both sides. President Trump has shown time and time again that he lacks the ethical and moral rectitude to be President of the United States."
Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) endorsed censorship of President Trump saying, "The President's repulsive defense of white supremacists demands that congress act to defend our American values."
The media and politicians have done everything in their power to sow and nurture hatred and divisiveness.
What exactly was this "repulsive defense"? It was the following, "To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend's racist violence, you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered. We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hate, bigotry and violence -- it has no place in America. As I have said many times before, no matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws. It's been going on for a long time in our country and it must stop now. Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans."
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, in attacking President Trump for his condemnation of the violence in Charlottesville said, "Whether he intended to or not, what he communicated caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn."
Political pundits, news commentators, and those with a long history of attacks on President Trump accused the President of giving comfort to hate groups, neo-Nazis, white nationalists and white supremacists.
Maybe some of us will wake up and realize how we are being manipulated by our so called political leaders and a media hyping political pandering, racial division and violence to increase their ratings.
President Trump addressed the facts of this tragic violent event and outlined the proper steps to be taken: "To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend's racist violence, you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered." He also used rhetoric to offer a table to all sides to come together to work to mend our divisions. He called out to the: "...Very fine people on both sides."
Rather than build on both these efforts – to hold those responsible fully responsible and to bring the good people on both sides together – the media and politicians have done everything in their power to sow and nurture hatred and divisiveness.
It may be possible for some good to come from all this. Maybe some of us will wake up and realize how we are being manipulated by our so called political leaders and a media hyping political pandering, racial division and violence to increase their ratings.
Is it time to finally turn off the pundits and turn out all the professional politicians and seek statesmen as our leaders?
A statesman is a person of bedrock principles and unchanging fundamental truths not guided by expediency.
For those unsure who is a professional politician as opposed to a statesman, consider the following:
– A statesman is a person of bedrock principles and unchanging fundamental truths not guided by expediency.
– A statesman is a person governed by a moral compass -- not public opinion polls – but instead a sense of absolute right and wrong.
– A statesman is a person with a true vision of what the community (large or small) can be, is able to identify problems, can craft solutions for both the short and long term to bring the vision to reality.
Perhaps it is time to finally turn off the pundits and turn out all the professional politicians and seek statesmen as our leaders.
###Robert L. Hale received his J.D. in law from Gonzaga University Law School in Spokane, Washington. He is founder and director of a non-profit public interest law firm. For more than three decades he has been involved in drafting proposed laws and counseling elected officials in ways to remove burdensome and unnecessary rules and regulations.
See Mr. Hale's biographical sketch.
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