The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 2, 2013

Not progress

Daily Item

---- — I remember the days when we called the president by his initials -- FDR, JFK, LBJ, or nickname -- Ike. . . . whether we agreed with their policies or not, we considered them our leader and developed an understated familiarity with them. Today, for whatever reason, Barack Obama is barely considered to be president by nearly half the country who totally disrespect him. I remember the days when long-serving politicians were held in esteem; they were called "elder statesmen". . . the likes of Ev Dirksen, Hubert Humphrey, Bob Dole, Ted Kennedy . . . all there to do service for their country in extremely trying times, and with tons of experience under their belts, they brought sanity and sensibility to the halls of government. Today, the prevalent attitude toward their kind is "throw the bums out" (along with their experience) and replace them all.

In attempting to determine what is different today, I consider the saturation of politico-entertainers who bend every event to suit their talking points, disseminate distorted "facts" and preach strict adherence to ideology to the exclusion of common sense and cooperation. The opponent is never right . . . we are always right. I consider the popularity of social networking where opinions of events, ideas and "facts" are so easily spread, accurate or not. And, of course, I consider the influence of "big money"!

Some may consider this "progress," but regardless of the reasons, it is of vital importance that out country gets past this logjam, and soon. We want to remain the leaders of the world, but for all the world we look like we have no idea what we're doing.

James Swartz,