Knock it Off and Get to Work: 4 Problems Bigger than Partisan Politics
by Marshal McGurk
This first appeared in The Havok Journal March 10, 2019.
I was often asked about what I would do after President Trump was inaugurated. My response was, “get up and make production at the plant.” That was the truth. I had no reason to do anything different and I still don’t. We have bigger problems to solve.
There are large segments of America unhappy with the 2016 elections results. Many constituents are disappointed with members of Congress. Town hall meetings, especially for Republicans, are turning into raucous affairs. Senator (R) Marco Rubio of Florida refuses to do town halls, citing rudeness from attendees. American constituents spew fury at their elected officials…especially at the people they didn’t vote for.
Meanwhile Democratic supporters seem content to protest everything from the executive order on immigration to his address to Congress. There are crude remarks running rampant across the aisle about staffers. Veterans are becoming involved in the fray too, citing President Trump’s flight jacket (even though there is precedent), and the Dakota Access Pipeline.
There is a lot of rage, but not a lot of work being done. Knock it off people, just knock it off. Whether you voted the current principals in, voted for their opponent, or refused to vote, you made your choices and now you’re stuck with them.
The rage, faux-rage, Twitter-rage, whatever triggering is happening based on a tweet is unsustainable for the next four years. Yes, we must discuss some contentious and explosive issues (e.g. Healthcare, Immigration, Syria) immediately. However, vitriol should not be an automatic response to every single move the President and Congress make. Ignore certain things (e.g. how the President likes his steak) and engage other things (e.g. U.S. troops in Syria without an Authorization for Use of Military Force).
If you’re going to engage government, you must learn to pick your battles. Here are four problems we can get to work on right now:
1) Flint, Michigan Water Crisis: The city hasn’t had clean drinking water for three years. Unbelievable. Flint is not the only city suffering either; North and South Carolina, Ohio and Mississippi are just a few states with ongoing clean…more like dirty water crises. It is 2017 and it is easier to find free wi-fi than it is to find clean drinking water in certain cities. Quit fighting about which political party caused the crisis, and just solve the damn problem.
2) Healthcare Costs: No one should have to mortgage their future over a hospital bill. It is important to understand why and how costs have risen 7% over the past year. Now, here are two ways to combat this issue: 1) itemize everything on your medical bills & question everything and 2) get healthy and stay healthy.
3) Oroville Dam, (well any dam/bridge/road) infrastructure: This could go for all 50 states; there is crumbling infrastructure everywhere in America. If infrastructure fails, then people die. It is that simple. Figure it out.
4) Immediate problems in your local community. Whether it is education, healthcare, or infrastructure, your local governments have more power and influence than you realize. The Federal Government is not responsible for revitalizing old manufacturing centers like Greenville, SC or Pittsburgh, PA. It is the city planners, state officials, and private industry who hold the purse-strings and influence for positive development. We, the American people, can and must hold them accountable to ensure a sustainable, harmonious quality of life.
Run for office or elect good officials in, and most of all, be patient!
Author’s Note: I did not say and will never say disparaging remarks about President Donald Trump our Commander-in-Chief, his appointed staff, or our elected officials in Congress. This is in accordance with Article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Marshall McGurk served nearly five years with the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) after a stint with the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized). He enjoys scotch, cigars, good books, foreign films, and critical thinking. He is passionate about international relations, domestic affairs, and successful veteran transition. He serves in the Army Reserve. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter.
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