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Politics: We must come together they say

The election is over and both sides are saying we must “come together” as one country. They promise to “reach out” to the other side and to “do (their) part to work together.” Nice words, but let’s watch for the actions that back it up.
It is easy to say you will do “whatever it takes” to get something done. But the speaker of those words often is found recanting with an “except for” statement.
I think it is time we started holding people accountable for what they say. How can a person be “a man of his word” if his words don’t serve as official notification of his commitments? If you say you will do it, then do it. Period. If you say you won’t, then don’t. Period.
We just witnessed a campaign filled with sound bites many of which we treated as if they didn’t count toward or against the person who said them.
In our society it used to be that a person’s word was their bond. They were bound to (committed to, with consequences) do or not do what their words had indicated. I just want to scream “tell the truth dammit!”
If you call someone a liar, be prepared to PROVE they lied. If you claim you did something, or didn’t then be prepared to document that fact.
Why don’t we trust politicians? Because they keep changing their words.

A big reason I didn’t vote for John Kerry and still wouldn’t is that he is not a man of his word. If you wish to find documentation of that let me know. I have seen volumes of published direct quotes. They are easy to find, in fact one of his opponents published a radio ad with about twenty first-person recordings of Kerry’s contradictory statements.
On the other hand, I did not find this to be the case with George Bush. Though one could argue about technical inconsistencies in his choice of words, there was no contradiciton in his stated messages. He kept saying the same things and then doing them. People say he lied about WMD. Horsefeathers!
He and the rest of our leaders including Kerry and Clinton, believed that Saddam had them.
They say he was fighting this war as a personal vendetta or just to secure riches from oil. Give me a break! How shallow do you think our leaders are? We have a full compliment of representatives and legislators to keep a president from such selfishness.
In order for us to come together, somebody has to agree to broaden their position. Two parties who continue to disagree fully cannot find a common ground. There must be compromise. Both parties need to do this but MOSTLY the Democrats. They lost. The voters they wanted to win over, weren’t won over.
For them to assume that a three million person majority is a group of uninformed or unenlightened people is absurd. The Democrats were not right in determining what the people of America want. Continuing to sell the same unpopular message will not “bring us together.”
That’s like saying, “we obviously disagree, so I will keep on selling until you finally agree with me.” What’re you nuts? That won’t work.
Now is the time for the Democratic Party to elect new leadership. Terry McAuliffe and his mean-spirited cohorts must go…totally. They are not capable of effecting change in the party. They won’t change.
The Democrats need to reimbrace the principles that Zell Miller talked about at the Republican convention. Their party needs to be a party of encouragement, not entitlements. People want hope. Reagan gave them that after Carter had removed it. And Reagan, not Carter, is regarded as the finest president in several generations. Clinton claimed to offer it, but his hope was tied to his ability to ride the empty shell of his economic policies through an “irrational exhuberance” tech boom and its inevitable crash. Short term solutions always have corresponding payback time.
To come together the Democrats must determine how to be optimists again. Kerry ran a “what’s wrong with America (under Bush) campaign.” There was no cause to get excited about having him as our leader, he only enticed us to remove Bush. He claimed to be an optimist but showed no evidence of it. His was a campaign of blame and despair. That is what divided us. Just as Gore did in 2000. And what has happened to Gore!? Ohmigod, that guy has gone radical. Pity.

Kerry betrayed his countrymen upon return from Vietnam. His actual words and deeds were quoted and shown by the North Vietnamese to our POWs to break their spirits. He, Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden and a few others worked vigorously to betray our efforts and demonize our troops. It worked, a whole generation looked down on them and ridiculed them when they returned “home.” Now Kerry has tried it again. He spawned such films as Farenheit 911 just as he spawned Apocalypse Now and Platoon from the Vietnam Era. Kerry claimed he was a war hero. But he didn’t own up to being a traitor too. Heroism isn’t permanent, nor is betrayal. But betrayal requires contrition and retribution. He never did admit his betrayal.
It is interesting that Kerry spoke for only one minute in his acceptance of the democratic nomination about his twenty years in office, but he spent plenty of time reminding us of his four MONTHS of service in Vietnam.
In contrast, Lots of people have accused Bush of draft dodging while ignoring his volunteering for fighter jet training, knowing that he’d be among the most likely to be called to active duty. His dad flew 50+ combat missions and was shot down twice in WWII. So he chose to follow the same path in his military service. He did not volunteer for Vietnam but he served honorably, as I did, in the National Guard and fulfilled his service.
Then he went on to serve his country rather than betray it.
And, by the way, when someone accuses another of draft dodging and cowardice for having joined the reserves or national guard, they are insulting all of us who served in those armed forces. I, Lt. Jim Cathcart, USAR and USNG, deeply resent that.

People accused Bush of being ignorant or non-intellectual, while ignoring his Yale MBA and his years of success in running businesses and serving impressively as the governor of Texas. What is it that people are missing? Do they think that debating skill is the best indicator of presidential capacity? If so, why don’t they hold the master debater to his words?
This has become a rant more than a commentary, sorry for that, but please don’t interpret the rant as being all emotion and no substance. I’ve thought long and hard about what I’m saying here, and I am willing to be held accountable for my words.

In closing, yes we must come together, but we won’t be doing that on the margins. People come together closer to the middle. America is an English speaking, Christianity-based, heterosexual, free enterprize society based on personal freedom and personal accountability. Our society is built upon the family unit as its basic building blocks. This is where the middle is. A church going, straight Christian is not “the radical right.” They are the mainstream.
Mainstream Americans believe in the right of people to determine their own sexual preferences but not in their ability to impose that preference as an entitlement of special minority status. Mainstream Americans believe that everyone should be able to practice their chosen religion. But freedom of religion must never become freedom FROM religion. Our country is built upon the assumption that people will have strong beliefs, not avoid and criticize beliefs. Church and State are inseparable. You can separate parts of them but Statecraft will always reflect our beliefs. Always. No matter what our beliefs are. A society that doesn’t teach values and character is doomed to spend eternity in a courtroom fighting over technical definitions of laws. Trust only grows where integrity is cultivated and required.

There is no freedom without being accountable. We can’t use entitlements as our nation’s success strategy. Freedom and being held accountable for what you do and SAY are the key to our society. Let’s mean what we say.

Jim Cathcart