Day: May 18, 2010

Arlen Specter’s 30 Years In The Senate Come To An End!

Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania has had his distinguished 30 year career in the Senate ended by Democratic primary voters, who elected Congressman Joe Sestak as a sign of change that they see as necessary!

Specter, who only switched to the Democratic Party last year, failed to accomplish his goal to have a sixth term in the Senate, but it is clear his time was up, as there was no realistic way that he would have been renominated if he had remained a Republican!

Always an individualist and maverick with the tendency to be moderate to liberal, depending on the issue, Specter often showed courage in his years in the Senate, and his willingness to back President Barack Obama on the economic stimulus and health care legislation was crucial to the passage of both bills!

For that, of course, Tea Party people and conservatives hated his guts, but Specter will go down as a man of great ambition and ego, and often demonstrating a difficult personality, but also at key moments doing what many would term the “right” thing to do!

His career was distinguished enough, and he dealt with enough controversial issues over three decades, that we can see that he will be well remembered, and will have historians and biographers want to research and produce scholarly works on the impact he had on American history!

Being already 80, and having survived two bouts with cancer, Arlen Specter can be described as a “profile in courage”, who will not be forgotten when the history of the last thirty years is written! May he enjoy a retirement that he deserves!

The Age Issue In America: The Young Versus Baby Boomers And The Elderly

It is becoming more evident that there is an age issue in America–between those under 45 and the Baby Boomers 46-64, and even those older than the Baby Boomers.

The Baby Boomers grew up in an era where cultural issues were very different than today. As children, most never knew anyone who was an immigrant, and for the white Baby Boomers, most did not know many people who were minority, or those who spoke foreign languages as a primary language.

Many also did not know gay people or have to deal with the issue of gay marriage, since marriage was only possible between a man and a woman.

Most Baby Boomers did not have to deal with affirmative action, and often did not associate or socialize with many people of minority status on a regular basis.

Interracial marriage was unusual, and marriages between people of different ethnic backgrounds were limited mostly to Jews marrying Italians or Italians, Polish and Irish white ethnics intermarrying. The whole concept of true racial and ethnic mix was rare.

Now we live in an era of young people associating with others who are of immigrant status, different racial and ethnic mixes, and gay, both at work and socially.

Therefore, those who are young tend to be more open minded and to be against those who attack illegal immigration, civil rights, and gay rights in a discriminatory manner! They are much more tolerant, as a group, than their parents or grandparents!

The good thing about this chasm is that the future lies with the young, and therefore as more become engaged in voting and participation in their country’s government, the odds of acceptance of immigrants, minorities and gay people being treated in a way that makes the nation proud, grows dramatically!

A multicultural America with a “live and let live” attitude toward people who are different in appearance, language, and even sexual preference is around the corner, even if now it is a major cultural conflict! The future is clear, but it might take a while for this to emerge, meanwhile adding tension to social division in America!

But the party that recognizes the future has a long range opportunity to succeed, and right now, it is evident that the Democrats are that party!

The Problem Of Trust : A Crisis In American Politics! :(

As Americans in four states vote today in party primaries and to replace Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania, it is obvious that there is widespread alienation of the average citizen toward their government, and it is not just one party or the other, or in fact, just the national government, but also state and local governments!

There are constant revelations of sex and financial scandals, and of lying about one’s background and credentials! This happens on a regular basis in many states across the country, including in South Florida as recently as the past 24 hours! 🙁

Within the last day, we have discovered that Connecticut Democratic Senate nominee Richard Blumenthal, the state Attorney General for 22 years, lied about his Vietnam service, a stunning revelation for a person who has been the chief law enforcement officer of his state for a generation! This will make it impossible for him to have a clear shot at winning what was thought to be an easy election to succeed Christopher Dodd!

But also just occurring is the revelation of an affair of Republican Representative Mark Souder of Indiana, and his announcement that he will resign from the House of Representatives!

Can the American people ever again believe in their office holders in governments at all levels, when there has been an epidemic of scandals and lies that seems never to stop? 🙁

When again will we be able to imagine that those who represent us can be believed and respected and trusted to govern us? 🙁

This is the question of 2010, but really of any year, and is troubling for those who have children and want them to believe in the reliability and truthfulness of adults, not only politicians, but also entertainers and sports figures, who constantly set a bad example for the future generation! 🙁