I recently watched a documentary made in the mid 1970s about a national coal strike called “Harlan County USA.” Many of the people in the documentary have passed away yet their feelings and concerns are still with us. I graduated from Bramwell High School 50 years ago in 1971. Like many class alumni from Bramwell and other schools, we are high school orphans. So many of our community schools are gone and we question why.
In the early 1970s, the president and vice president at that time resigned because of corruption charges. The governor of West Virginia later was convicted of corruption. The president of the UMWA was charged and convicted for killing his opponent. Our frustration with our political leaders and representatives has been felt for much longer than the last 50 years. When Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941, the World Trade Center in 2001 and other terrible attacks on America, we rallied to take action. We didn’t question our countries response to these attacks.
With the passing of time we can look back and ask historians why the ones who attacked us were so committed to hurting and trying to weaken or destroy our citizens and our country. Our government leaders in Washington D.C. need to address the growing frustration with our citizens and listen to their concerns. Sooner or later the “can” of huge problems our government leaders keep kicking down the road will get too big and heavy to kick.
My brother, who retired from the Highway Department, shared three facts for road maintenance. They are “keep the water off the road, keep the water off the road and keep the water off the road!!”
So many of our leaders are too concerned with power and finding huge amounts of donors to fund their campaigns. I believe there are three suggestions to help keep our politicians and the citizens they serve to do a better job of listening and passing legislation that benefits the working class, retirees, seniors and those less fortunate who want a better life.
The three suggestions are term limits, term limits and term limits. Our political leaders should have an adequate time to work to make common sense decisions to do the job the citizens hired them to address.
Perhaps our leaders should think more about the citizens and work with political opponents who were elected by citizen voters as well. Angry, frustrated, upset and distrusting Americans are a big and growing “can of dangerous worms.” Our political leaders should be working to help our country and may not realize their negative and bickering attitude is building a very dangerous can opener!
We are a nation asking a lot of serious questions. Remember Americans come from rebellious stock. Many Americans in uniform and civilians have suffered and died to preserve our Constitution and hopes and dreams. Fifty plus years of questions concerning our frustrations may not last another 50 years. There are so many governments beyond our borders who want us to fail.
Many of those governments’ people don’t have the many blessings we Americans enjoy. Nearly 90 years ago the humorist Will Rogers said we have the best politicians money can buy! I question if we are getting our money’s worth today.
Wall Street believes they are too big to fail and so do many in our government. Too many Americans feel our corporations and politicians are messing us over. Remember wars break out among nations at peace. Politicians, please listen to our questions and frustrations. Remember all of us have a potential breaking point.
Please for the love of God and country don’t let America get to that point. Politicians, listen to our questions and frustrations. Listen more to us and work together to make our lives better and listen less to the ones who have selfish and personal reasons to keep them in a very wealthy standard of living they have come accustomed to having.
Remember, all cowboys fear a stampede by a huge herd of cattle. Our elected legislators should have the same fear of citizens. Cows don’t question what’s happening to them, people do question what’s happening to them.
Warren L. Butt