Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

A new year

Wick's World


January 10, 2019

Happy New Year to the family of Americans. Just like my personal family, babies were born and people died. The drunken uncle once again appeared at the Yuletide party. Meanwhile, Uncle Sam got drunk on power. Is it really okay to put America to bed and sleepwalk through this year? Is it okay that federal employees work without paychecks because "they are Democrats?" Can't Democrats, Republicans and the president sit down and talk over holiday goodies and eggnog? Are we so polarized as a country that it would take going into the closet to change one's mind? It appears so and that is a dangerous place for our country to be.

Beginning with Thanksgiving, life surrounding my favorite holiday period has been nothing less than a whirlwind. Like my large family of fellow Americans, the Fisher-McKenna family momentarily got smaller with the death of dear old cousin Connie from Boise, Idaho. Hers was one of those lingering, painful diseases that causes the family to say, "At least she is no longer in pain", or "It was a blessing. She's in a better place now."

We are all guilty of putting out words of compassion for a loved one, not really knowing if what we say is true or even helpful. How do we know she's in a better place? As mortal beings we stood at the graveside waiting for the casket to be lowered into the hole while discussing Boise State's football victory over Fresno State last night. Nothing wrong with that. That was last night's news and next week we can watch an unfortunate kicker hit the uprights to miss another field goal that would have (and should have) won the game. The fact that he missed four other times in this same way didn't make this one any easier. In reality, this one was much worse. It cost his team a possible trip to the Super Bowl. Did America have a hole dug in the middle of the football field into which he could fall? Metaphorically, what America had was a judgment call in which half the country loved him because their side won and the other half hated him because their side lost. It makes America seem like a political football game.

The current government shutdown leaves all Americans suffering the consequences for the political actions and inactions by the politicians we so love to hate. Trump and our political leaders are committing a national suicide when they leave federal workers without a paycheck. The insanity of this inaction by our not so "Great America" can cause political suicide. The great people of America have such disdain for our government that we go to our rooms, smoke a cigarette and throw the wrong butt out the window. Many no longer give a darn.

The America as I knew it while growing up in Mayberry in the 50s and Haight Asbury in the 60s has long disappeared; but it didn't die. It simply gave birth to a new nation just like our family gave birth to a new baby. When Aunt Connie dies, she is replaced by Sweet Baby Jane. That is how families continue their survival as does America.

Sadly, what has died in America is open, polite discourse where one is able to talk with their neighbor. Today it seems best to just keep our mouths shut. After all, we have a leader who appears to speak irrationally for everybody. Our country has never been held in such low esteem around the world. How do we get back to work as a country that is kind to other nations as well as our next-door neighbor? It is not just several hundred thousand federal employees who are out of work and drawing no paycheck who are affected. We have morally bankrupt ourselves as a nation and there are no bankers or lenders waiting at our door to jumpstart our lives with a clean slate.

Our ruination must be cleaned up from within by every person who calls themselves an American and we can't cure it by putting iodine on our paychecks because we got a cut in salary. We as Americans are in this government shutdown together. When one loses, in a sense we all lose. Those who put the blame just on the president need to go sit on the curb to get their mind out of the gutter. Those who voted for Trump: fix it. Those who voted against Trump: fix it.

As for me, I will love my neighbor as myself. I will worship my family and our newest member who may one day be the person at the forefront of making America the great loving, welcoming country it should be.

I am going to continue my life with the passion of the paratrooper I once was. When I die, it will be with my boots on so I don't hurt my toes when I kick the bucket. America ... Bless God.


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