#397 – Dick Bernard: Day 7 of the Minnesota Shutdown; 26 days to D-Day in Washington D.C. "Compromise?"

NOTE: This is part of a continuing series which began June 23. Point your cursor at any hi-lited date on the calendar and you will see the title of that days post.

I am a creature of habit. And much of my ‘habit’ involves gathering information, much of that political information.
It was said that Harry Truman, even in retirement, religiously read five newspapers every day. Most of his life was pre-television. I probably don’t come near to matching him in the information end, but I strive to keep up on the various ‘sides’ of issues of the day. It is an exhausting and very confusing task.
That being said, we are in insane times. I hope we survive.
From my personal perspective, two apparently wildly disparate views of the universe jumped out within the last day:
Yesterday, on the internet came a report on the cost of the wars on Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan released by the Eisenhower Study Groups at Brown University. The Executive Summary is here. The headline says it all: “225,000 Killed, $3.2 – 4 Trillion”.
On the other pole is one letter in today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune which the writer obviously wanted to be public information:
“I don’t care if my government is Democrat or Republican. I don’t care if it’s run by the Independence, Green, Patriot or Freedom parties. I want a government that will serve me with the things that will protect me and my freedom:
1. I want them to govern with as little of my money as they can.
2. I want my government workers to work hard at keeping their jobs, not rely on a union that will keep them no matter how bad a worker they are. They should earn the job.
3. I want the teachers to be the best teachers they can be, without relying on a union boss to keep their jobs for them. They should earn the right to keep the job.
4. I want my government to mind its own business around the world. Let those people be. Let them figure out how to govern themselves. You know — just like we did.

5. Don’t force policy on me that I don’t need. Health care? Ha. Fifty-five million U.S. citizens will not have health coverage. Boo-hoo. They don’t have it now and they get care for free. Nothing will change that.
And, finally: Stand for the flag, salute the flag. Know the national anthem; it won’t hurt you. And, America … do it in English.”
JUDITH SCHNARR, MINNEAPOLIS

I don’t know said Judith Schnarr, but it is pretty obvious that in her view of the world, it’s all about ME, including no Union to protect her interests, which apparently she doesn’t feel need protecting. She’s got her act all together, thank you very much.
The Eisenhower Study Group report, on the other hand, has much more of a WE vision. It matters to us, and to others, what we do….
There’s something else revealed in Ms Schnarr’s commentary: in essence, what’s mine is mine, and I can tell you what you deserve as well. Don’t tell me what to do, but I’ll certainly tell you. She reminds me of that guy in the Red Corvette in the Afton Parade on July 4. The guy with the angry look, and the “Don’t Tread on Me” banners. No kiddies looked for candy from his car, that’s for certain.
There’s just a single letter difference between those two very little words: ME versus WE.
I get the strong impression that this is the battleground between the parties in this state, and in Washington D.C.
How a balance will be found between the two poles is unknown. “Compromise” does not happen when one party or both are stuck firmly in cement.
If the road ahead is “my way or the highway” there’s a long very rough trip ahead, and we spectators are sitting in the bus that will sooner than later break down. By then, it will be too late….

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