That “sucker born every minute,” as shyster showman P.T. Barnum put it, is you and me. 

We’re the naïve patrons of the U.S.’s “Greatest Show on Earth.” The three rings of the circus are the House, the Senate, and the White House, where we find more clowns than we do in Barnum’s big top.

It all reminds me of Mad Magazine’s Spy vs. Spy, where one spy is trying to clobber the other on the head with a club while they stoop around in circles, searching for dirty doings on one another.

With all the important issues on the nation’s docket, our representatives in Congress should be diligently seeking long-term solutions, instead of behaving like dithering old bald men fighting over a comb.

“Be gone with all of you,” as Shakespeare would write. “Leave at once through the nearest exit.” Simply put, we are fed up with partisan politicians. 

Sadly, though, we’re stuck for now with the do-nothings in Congress. Come election time in November, though, their fates will be in our hands. So, do not take lightly the heavy responsibility before you this election year.

We just finished the primaries, but the big election comes in November. Then we can carefully consider who will work on our behalf and who will not. 

Whether Democrat, Republican or independent, we need unity among the warring factions to get our nation back on track. 

Democrats and Republicans now serving are the 21st century version of the Hatfields and the McCoys. Fighting and arguing are much favored over compromises and solutions. 

There are stacks of legislative bills that can help the U.S. that never get out of committees, simply because of stubborn partisan politics. Doesn’t matter whether the bills are tagged Democrat or Republican, they wither on the legislative vine from inaction.

Members of Congress are not legislating, they are vegetating, as one former senator put it. This isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue. It’s a national issue, for it is our nation that is vegetating, too. 

Right now, we face a deadly virus loose in the world. Are we doing our part to eradicate it? Something tells me our government is unprepared to deal with this health crisis. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our first line of defense, along with state health agencies, are all understaffed and underfunded. 

Widespread fear of the virus spreading sent the stock market into a negative freefall last week. The president blames the liberal news media and the Democrats for creating unnecessary panic and fear. 

And, as my mother used to say, the weather is out of control. Yet, many members of our government take the stand that global warming is a big hoax. Just the aging earth getting older, they say, while raging storms encircle us with wind and fire and rain.

There is major unrest across the land. The economic and social problems we face at home are many and complex, and they all require thoughtful decisions and compromises to solve. 

But, nothing gets approved in Congress because all our elected officials want to do is fight and argue with one another. This is the type of rot within that destroys the core while the outside appears healthy. 

What can we do to break this gridlock and deadlock? We need to think hard of who can serve us best and who can lead us out of this mess. And we need to go to the polls in November and vote responsible people into office.

Put the toadies out. They have proven their unwillingness to serve and their cowardice to tackle tough issues. The elected officials who argue with one another like spoiled children need to be shown the door. They are wasting our time and their time with ridiculous name-calling and fighting. 

We have a president who rules by executive orders. He has assumed this authority while our elected legislators in both houses dither. The downside of executive orders is that they lack debate. One person decides a course of action without sufficient congressional input.  

The other day I overheard one elderly lady in a restaurant say, “We need to vote them all out — and I mean all out — and start over.” Not a bad comment, that. But reality tells us this isn’t going to happen. The bickering will continue ad infinitum, or until we finally declare that we’ve had enough.

Time to give the boot to the shallow-thinkers and the naysayers. You know who these P.T. Barnum types are. They are not true leaders who love our country. They use sleight of hand to confuse and abuse us. Their time is up — to use a popular phrase. 

 

Ralph Morris is a retired newspaperman who lives near Auburn. His email is r.morris@ctvea.net. 

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