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Chatterbox: Whimper ... while you work


There are few times I can recall in my lifetime when we and our news programs were so focused on only one news story. There are many issues which need to be talked about and handled, and their solutions may come far easier than that of this singular topic which we are sick to death of and beating to death.

So far, the only thing the wall is stopping, is progress.

Many of us love to cook and bake. While we work on complicated recipes or a large amount of anything, we’ve got a mess that consists of many parts, not just the finished product.

To handle such a mess with the least amount of confusion in an orderly, efficient, and timely fashion, we plan and then, work as we go.

After all, we may not care if we find a banana peel in the fridge, but we’re going to be very upset if we accidentally toss our handmade pasta in the trash.

Whenever we are able to address more than one thing at a time, we must do so, sensibly. Focusing on one activity may exclude another, but rarely does any activity exclude all others, despite urgency, especially when we aren’t working alone. It’s merely a matter of prioritizing and planning – and a government’s leaders must be able to master their willingness to work together toward a goal, instead of advancing their pet projects, careers or private agendas.

Even as we try to bring attention to our plight and other topics through marches, walk-outs, and protests, our powerful leaders waste time contesting one another. They have forgotten their common mission.

Perhaps, they have forgotten they even have a common mission … indeed, a sworn promise.

While the new norms in our nation fracture much of what we’ve built, even cultivating flagrant disrespect among Americans, much of the government remains stagnated by that one single issue and the fallout of it. No matter where we go, we hit that wall. We are all held hostage in exchange for a barricade at a cost of nearly 6 billion public dollars.

We must talk about and work to resolve other issues that are important and can be advanced even during this crisis. Many of those are the very issues our seated president ran his campaign on. We were led to believe they would be addressed when he became president.

Certainly, our immigration system is in need of a complete overhaul.

More immediately, and in the interim, we must deal with the rush of desperate would-be immigrants. The conditions they are fleeing are much of our doing, and history tells that story; certainly, political responsibility could have abated, if not eliminated, this influx. That ship has long sailed, but even now, there are viable options to explore.

Our leadership can explore options, and plan and execute solutions to these critical problems while still accomplishing smaller goals at home.

Yet, in the chest-beating that seems to be possessing most of our elected officials, we dwell on the big crisis leaving issues that can be solved simultaneously, minimally addressed or unaddressed.

We need to talk about other things that are urgent to the people of our nation, those who are already Americans. Flint, Michigan, among other U.S. cities, has critical water issues; we have public entities being sold to profiteers, disintegrating roads and bridges across our country, a medical insurance industry which leaves parents selling their blood to pay for their child’s insulin … we could go on.

We have many issues, and the wall is only one of them. We must accomplish all that we can, while we keep working, sensibly, on the bigger problems. Those problems certainly aren’t going anywhere any time soon. This political spitting contest will continue ad nauseum, and the people will suffer.

While our nation falls apart, we chuckle at memes that make our president look bad. We remain captive to an undignified leadership, while we are content to get news from a star reporter who is more star than reporter, or from a news host who is pushing a book.

While we are preoccupied with the minutiae, watchdog committees are coming under the leadership of the very cartels that invested fortunes to shut those committees down. Back door politics enable the surreptitious sale of public programs to private investors. Our rights disintegrate, our freedoms are threatened, our systematically undermined unity collapses, and our position as a respectable world power dissolves.

As most nations do, we have many problems. It’s imperative that we work on all of them.