Saturday, August 29, 2015
We Need a Kinder, Gentler Nation
“I want a kinder, gentler nation.” Does that sound familiar? That was the vision revealed by George H. W. Bush in his 1988 speech when he accepted the Republican nomination for President. In that same speech, he observed that the Presidency provides an incomparable opportunity for “gentle persuasion.” Evidently the electorate agreed and he was elected. What a difference twenty-seven (27) years make!
Now we have a candidate for President who is running on a “bully platform,” literally. Sad, I don’t even have to say his name and you know whom I’m talking about. He embodies the exact opposite of the kinder, gentler nation vision. His “my way, or the highway” attitude, while it satisfies the inner desire for “payback” to whomever you blame for whatever your plight, a nation cannot survive based on anger and hate. That is not the America that our forefathers envisioned.
We have a person running for President whose major promise is to round up eleven million people and transport them across the border. I picture railcars loaded with babies, mothers, fathers, and grandparents, all weeping. Another candidate says he will patrol the borders with armed drones. And in the background, their fans are yelling, “Hell, yeah!” This is from the political party that has cornered the vote of the evangelicals. We are becoming anything BUT a kinder, gentler nation.
If there was ever any doubt that we need a kinder, gentler nation, look no further than the events of this past week. In Virginia, a mentally ill man with a gun executed two innocent, young professionals, while they were simply doing their job. Some of the other high-profile shootings include Chattanooga, Charleston, Sandy Hook, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Tucson, and Columbine. Donald Trump is teaching us it’s okay not to be politically correct any longer. Therefore I will say, “All these mass shootings were committed by a crazy person with a gun.”
A new study released last week showed the U. S. leads the world in mass shootings. I repeat, IN THE WORLD! The FBI defines a mass shooting as the killing of four or more people, not gang related or family related. By those standards, the Virginia shooting doesn’t even qualify as a mass shooting. Just another day in the killing field.
If someone knew how to stop these crazy people with guns from killing, they’d win the Nobel Peace Prize. Nobody knows for sure, not even the all-knowing Donald Trump. However, since we know the problem, we should at least start working on the solution. The conversation on the expansion of mental illness services has not even begun. Every time someone mentions any type of gun control, people barking like National Rifle Association (NRA) trained seals shout down the conversation. We need a kinder, gentler NRA and that just may lead us to a kinder, gentler nation.
By the way, I have a new hero. His name is Andy Parker, the father of Alison Parker, the young news reporter from WDBJ TV in Virginia. I don’t think the NRA is going to be able to shout down Andy Parker. Mr. Parker’s mission is sensible gun control and he is very motivated. Godspeed Mr. Parker!
You heard it here first, folks! Guess who’s running for Governor of Georgia in 2018? Casey Cagle, our current Lieutenant Governor. No, he hasn’t announced this news but why else would he announce last week that he was cutting off all funding to Planned Parenthood? I told you in last week’s column that Governor Deal had investigated the Georgia Planned Parenthood organization and no wrongdoing was found. Therefore, there is no logical reason Casey Cagle would make an announcement of this nature other than if he’s running for Governor. Announcements of this sort are usually the job of the sitting Governor. Cagle is starting early to pander to the old white men of the Republican Party. Women should educate him that women’s health services are not exclusive to liberals and minorities and teenagers of liberals and minorities.
If this early grandstanding by Mr. Cagle is any indication, the rhetoric in the next Governor’s race won’t be any kinder and gentler than that in this presidential primary.