I am old enough to remember when the Republican Party had statesmen in the United States Senate like Everett Dirksen, Howard Baker, Lowell Weicker and others who worked across the aisle with Democrats to get things done for the American people. I seriously doubt we shall ever see their like again in my lifetime. The current crop of Republican Senate bottom feeders includes people like Mitch McConnell, Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, certainly not men who will ever go down in history as fondly remembered statesmen.
The naked corruption that got us to this sorry point began during the Reagan era, when the very idea of public service in government began being seen as a dishonorable profession made up of flimflam men who only sought to do harm to the American people. The dark, dystopian vision of government as hopelessly corrupt began with the castigation of it by our president -Reagan – convincing us that the worst words we could hear were “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
Now is the time to bury that notion once and for all. If the Trump era served to teach us anything, it’s that government wasn’t there when we needed it to help the most, during a deadly pandemic that rages on as we speak. It needn’t have been that way. And now we have a chance to fix that. Let’s gird our loins for the long work ahead. Because we can only fix this together as Americans trusting our government to do the right thing and when we need it the most.
Retired paraprofessional librarian