Wandering in a sea of bitterness and hate

Published 9:40 am Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Would you expect a strong, professional, viable group of individuals to fall apart without the slightest pressure from outside adversity? I would think that a group that has been in place for well over a century is well rooted in its purpose and principles. Why would such a group become derailed to the point that it becomes dysfunctional and lose focus of its purpose. I perceive that such a group is a metaphor of the Republican Party.

The Republican Party has always had sound principles upon which they stood. Although I have not always agreed with them, I respected their position and vowed to disagree without them being disagreeable. The “Grand Old Party” as I knew it no longer exists. Members of the Republican Party change their positions on issues as readily as the wind changes direction. Why is this so? What has happen to the “GOP” to which President Abraham Lincoln so proudly belonged?

Since the presidential elections of 2008 the Republicans have been drifting in a direction that has taken them away from their base. They have become a political entity focused strictly on dismantling the President at any and all cost. They will go to any length to dishonor President Obama, even if it means changing their position on things simply to be in disagreement with him and the Democratic Party. This obsession they have to destroy the President has caused them to self destruct. And sadly they don’t seem to realize it.

Prior to the President negotiating the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl from an Afghanistan Prison, numerous republicans voice a concern to have the Sergeant released and returned home.

“We should negotiate means to bring Sgt. Bergdahl home” they said.

The President did just that, and his negotiation was in alignment with the position of some of the most senior republicans in congress. However, all of these vocal republicans began to backtrack, changing their positions as soon as they heard about the questionable integrity of Bergdahl. They seem to align themselves with the circumstances when Sgt. Bergdahl was captured rather than the fact he was an American soldier in captivity. Some went as far as attacking the sergeant’s father, calling him a Muslim simply because he grew a beard. That the most idiotic thing I have ever heard!

It is fair to say that some democrats took the same position as the republicans. But I question if their motives were the same. I believe the fate of the sergeant should be determine in an American court of Law regardless of what he may or may not have done. Isn’t this the American way? We cannot try him locked up in a foreign prison.

The National Defense Authorization Act requires that congress be given a thirty day notification before transferring prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. However, due to the apparent seriousness of Sergeant Bergdahl health, it was the President’s judgment that he should not wait the thirty day period, but bring him home as soon as practicable since a window of opportunity had presented itself.

What do you think would be the consequences if the President would have waited the thirty day period and Sgt. Bergdahl had died in prison? This is not the only time America has negotiated the release of prisoners held in foreign countries. One of the most memorable ones was when President Ronald Reagan negotiated the release of prisoners from Iran by selling guns to the Iranians. I believe this had a much greater significance when it comes to national security than releasing five unarmed prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.

The new breed of Republicans has been influence by greed, hate and lobbyists to the point that they have forgotten their reason for being in Washington. Others are so old and have been there so long until they can’t shed the shackles of prejudice that still holds them hostage. All of them have been channeled into a state of selfishness, which encourages them to promote their own personnel interest and not that of their constituents.

Today’s Republicans are out of touch with the things most Americans care about. In the last six years they have not sponsored a single piece of legislation that has benefited the poor and working class. On the contrary, they have voted to take away many of the benefits the poor and working class have. Their efforts are centered around attacking the President on everything he does. Mind you that the President’s position on some issues is the same as the original position of those who are now in opposition. Bringing Sgt. Bergdahl home is a good example. The President is in a no-win situation, he is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. I think he realizes that as works to accomplish what he can for the American people without Congress, which is another thing the Republicans hate.

I believe the traditional “GOP” is embarrassed by this new breed of Republican Politicians that are “wandering in a sea of hate and discontentment”. When will these ridiculous theatrics end? Or will they ever? In the mean time the people are being held hostage.

CLYDE JOHNSON is a retired health physicist for the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. He lives in Franklin, and can be contacted at 562-4402.