Cut the “Pot Shots” and Lead Our Leaders!


Happy Hump Day, Y’all!

I mean, if I didn’t find something to be elated about … like yoga or taking a summer trip to Europe … I might get depressed or something.  I’ve never been depressed that I know of.  I was sharing with my daughter the other night how when I first got an academic scholarship to go to St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH, I didn’t want to go.  I wanted to go to White Plains High School and play basketball like my brother “Hank” did (RIP).  Oddly enough, I rebelled so much when I came home a few months later for Thanksgiving and my “girlfriend” was going out with one of my arch rivals, I told my mother that I wanted to die!!  My mother was in shock and kept asking me what was it about the loss of this girl that made me feel so fatal!  I was fourteen, and honestly, I hadn’t a clue what I was talking about … pretty much just rebelling.  Both of them rallied around me in their own unique ways … the “tough love” of Big Ike and the undying nurturing love of Mary … a few visits to friends of theirs who were successful … and my thoughts of suicide were aborted.  I graduated from St. Paul’s as scheduled and got an academic scholarship to Princeton … and so on … and so on.    This is why I have the gratitude in my attitude every day.  My daughter said that she always looked up to them, Mary and Ike, and is glad that they were there for me.  I tell people sometimes that “God even looks out for stupid people like me!”

So, where does “our government” (I use that term loosely nowadays) go now?!?  Now that we have gotten away from the tradition of the POTUS and his family living in the White House and taking “getaways” to Camp David and have adopted the concept of partisan politics – one party VERSUS the other – what do us citizens do?!?  Do we get behind the “mudslingers” and start to act like them, cursing and demeaning each other … even attacking each other physically … like a bunch of barbarians?!?  Just yesterday, I witnessed a comment by one of my former students who had posted a satirical picture of Obama giving Trump the finger!  It wasn’t really done by Obama … it never happened in real life.  But, a “friend” of this former student went on an internet “rant” of horrifying proportions, calling Obama all sorts of names starting with “a racist” and on down the line.  This “friend” continued calling Michelle Obama the “b” word and continued with an array of horrifying comments about Mrs. Obama that were not becoming of a “savage”, considering he didn’t know and clearly has never met this distinguished lady.  Are we getting caught up in allowing our society … “the land of the free, home of the brave”, a country built by African slaves and immigrants from countries ranging from China to Germany, from Ireland to England, from Japan to Australia … to become partisan to the point that we are actually inviting another “civil war” where the sides are based on extremist ideologies and “deal making”?  Have we moved away from a democracy to our nation full of “let’s make a deal makers”?!?  I heard one politician make a statement that made the most sense ever:  “If we could all just sit down at the table and behave and talk to each other like civilized human beings, we could get a lot done!”

I think that it may be the time for the citizens to lead again, to show the politicians that we are NOT savage barbarians looking to be led into “the hallways of hell”.  If you take a closer look, we are far from “making America great again” … We have been infiltrated by so many hostile external influences – just like the Roman Empire – that we have become the target of corruption and outside control while we fight each other in the streets and in our government.  This … is NOT great!  This … is despicable.  While we allow our nation to become a “hideous reality show” while our leaders take incessant “pot shots” at each other … and the concept of governing a nation has all but been lost in our attempts to rise to “stardom”, I applaud those of us who seek to lead from the bottom, to lead from within … because many of our “leaders” are lost!  Remember, they are not gods … they are frail humans just like many of us. It is time for the citizens to lead the “leaders”!  It won’t happen any other way.  Reduce and terminate the “pot shots” at each other … and our leaders … and provide an example for civil behavior and not let ourselves go down in history as hideous barbarians … hating and killing each other.


John I. Cook, Director

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