Op-Ed

America will lose its standing in the world if politicians don’t return to sanity

I am a born-again Christian of the Baptist variety. I would describe myself as a moderate in most all things.

Many of my Baptist cohorts, particularly of the fundamentalist variety, will not agree with the following comments.

The movement of the United States toward conservatism had been ongoing for many years.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan won the presidency overwhelmingly, particularly in the South, because of President Jimmy Carter’s seeming weakness. He had not brought home the hostages from Tehran and inflation heated up. “One more helicopter,” as Carter lamented might have rescued the hostages in Tehran.

Wasn’t it amazing that the hostages were released as soon as Reagan took the oath of office? And, what was that “Iran-Contra” scandal all about?

So began the flipping of the South politically as well as other areas of the country from Democratic Party strongholds, including Kentucky, to near Republican monopoly in local, state, and national elections. This had happened before. For example, many Republicans switched parties during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Personality always plays a vital role in the success or failure of candidates. Image now is everything as consultants, pollsters, and other professionals became part and parcel of the electoral process. My mailbox and television channels “runneth over” with ads for politicians, pillows, gutters, and health care plans.

How important is voting!

As I often told my history students during my career at Eastern Kentucky University if you do not vote for a candidate opposed to mine, you are actually giving me two votes.

Politics probably divides us more than ever before in our history. Anyone who does not face the truth about global warming has his or her head in the sand. “The current occupant” has decreed himself omnipotent. He has broken alliances that have stood the test of time since World War II as well as other agreements. If the United States does not lead the western democracies, who will? We are still the strongest democracy in the world, but for how long?

President Donald Trump is not immoral, but amoral. His whole life has been a comical thrust for attention and now he has the penultimate position that he probably only dreamed of years ago. I don’t believe he has the best interests of the United States at heart. He craves attention and praise like the spoiled brat he is.

Trump came to us as a “reality” television star. By continually denouncing President Barack Obama as having been born in another county, he became the darling of the right wing of the Republican Party.

At the risk of sounding Biblical, a word from the Apostle Paul in Galatians, 6:7, is appropriate. “A man reaps what he sows.”

If we don’t begin to clean up the environment, reverse global warming, bring sanity and good sense back to Washington, and remain the “last best hope of earth,” the world leadership role of the United States may possibly never return.

Where are the Republicans who used to decry the increase of the national debt? I suppose that was only true when there was a Democrat in the White House.

William Ellis is a retired Eastern Kentucky University history professor.

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