Those who care about country must elect ‘adults’ to government
The irony of two essays in the April 7 Buffalo News opinion pages was too great to allow silence. On one hand, Michael Gerson writes about the “creative cruelty” of Trump’s White House. It’s a cruelty that prevents effective leadership and decision making, and expunges any “adults in the room,” viz., the voices that dare to dissent from the POTUS’ pronouncements or interfere with his predilections. Can anyone cogently argue that such a toxic working environment will be contained, and that governments and businesses outside the Washington Beltway will, nonetheless, continue functioning with some semblance of efficiency, order, harmony and effectiveness? Yet, three inches away on the same opinion pages, a letter to the editor exhorts readers to remember “how great our country is and always will be.”
The country cannot abide such baseless sanguinity. Granted, I would like to agree that the U.S. will always be great. I want to believe that, in 2021, the country – including the men and women of the Executive Branch–will shake off the damage it has suffered under the current administration on Pennsylvania Avenue. Yet, no country, even one as strong as ours, is invincible. The public’s faith in the press, vital to a democracy, is in shambles. The federal electoral system has been infiltrated by a foreign adversary, and its integrity is not being restored (despite money having been set aside for that purpose).
My earnest hope is that those who say they care about the country, and indeed the planet, will work diligently this year to elect “adults” to offices in Washington who will stem and then reverse the damage. Optimism is useless without action.
Andrew Hartley. Ph.D