---Ronald Reagan, Election Eve speech, November 3, 1980
Abraham Lincoln was a hero to many in a time when freedom was so fragile, but others saw him as a destroyer of the life they knew. Some saw the years of John F. Kennedy as the era of Camelot, while some found his politics untenable. Lyndon Johnson's years of fighting for civil rights brought hope to a tired generation while it struck fear in the hearts of many. The years of Ronald Reagan brought comfort and joy to many, while others saw the life they longed for slip away.
These four examples of democratic and republican leadership had one overlying belief, even as partisan politics brought about much bickering. Politicians as a whole believed that more important than anything else, they must leave a better country for future generations than the one that was handed to them. While both parties strongly believed that their methods would prove more successful, at the end of the day there was compromise and handshakes as aisles were crossed to ensure a safe and better future for our children.
I fear that those same aisles that were crossed to free slaves, stop wars and feed the hungry are now being used to separate the very people who can continue to fight for our future generations. The vast majority of both democrats and republicans are hard working men and women, who at the end of the day want a similar outcome. They are being stymied however, by the radical right and the radical left who are standing in the way of all progress. Our President is being influenced by the hard right to throw away years of progress, while his opponents on the far left are so blinded by the hatred of the far right that they can't see that some of his changes are necessary.
During the days before his inauguration, Trump met with Obama and admitted that he was a good man with important ideas. Obama left the meetings in an equally upbeat manner, and they both agreed to work together. Unfortunately, many of the men that surround our new President are working towards an agenda that can only be hampered by a Trump/Obama relationship or a bipartisan congress. They spent Trump's first 100 days convincing him to build walls not bridges, and an angry media helped fuel the fire.
Our children deserve more. They deserve clean air and water and food that is not diluted with antibiotics and pesticides. They deserve three meals a day and a doctor when they are sick. They deserve a future where jobs are plentiful and taxes are fair for all. They deserve to live in a world where they are equally accepted no matter what their race, religion, gender or sexual preference. If you think that I am describing a purely democratic agenda, you are wrong. Most republicans want exactly the same thing for the future generations. They just have different methods of attaining these goals. So, with apologies to Glen Campbell, " there's a load of compromisin' on the road to 'our' horizon."
Hopefully our politicians on both sides will soon realize that our country must come before either party, and we will begin to work towards the same goals that our forefathers set out several hundred years ago. We will raise our children to believe that in America, working hard and following your dreams will lead to a good life in the best country in the world.
Speaking of politicians, Joseph Finder's latest book, The Switch, does not shine the best of light on politics today. When businessman Michael Tanner picks up the wrong laptop computer at the airport security station, his world begins to crumble. The laptop belongs to Senator Susan Robbins, and she is determined to get it back at all costs. If the information on it is leaked, her aspirations for the White House are over, and she enlists her chief of staff, Will Abbott, to retrieve it by any means necessary. As usual, Finder kept me going through the last page.
To cheer myself up this week, I decided to visit with one of America's treasures and read, I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This: and Other Things That Strike Me as Funny, by Bob Newhart. It delivered, and I smiled my way through the book. Hopefully, you will too.
As always, complete reviews of these books follow this blog.