By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
War is a terrible thing—especially if it involves someone close to you.
War is more than a 30-second clip on the nightly news or some sham Hollywood movie loosely based on an actual event with great special effects and loud, scary audio designed to fatten the pockets of Hollywood executives. To many, it’s very personal.
Tucked away and out of sight are the very real casualties of war. Men and women who are no longer whole in either body or mind. Families who will forever bear the absence of a loved one taken from them because of their deceased’s love for their country.
In his speech to Congress, duly elected President Donald J. Trump took time to recognize the untimely and tragic death of Navy SEAL SCPO William “Ryan” Owens during in the world-wide war against radical Islamic terrorists. His widow, Carryn Owens, the mother of his three young children, received a resounding, appreciative applause from those present for the great sacrifice her family made for our country.
Shortly after, liberal Democrats, those who could leave a cheetah in the dust running from the sounds of the guns, mocked the tribute. Two top Democrat leaders, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Representative Keith Ellison, sat silent, holding their applause. Is this what the Democratic Party leadership has devolved into?
Perhaps our Democratic friends who sat unresponsive to points made by President Trump during his speech could explain what they found objectionable about the following:
1. A five-year ban of former executive branch staff from lobbying.
2. A lifetime ban on former executive staff becoming a lobbyist for a foreign country.
3. The dismantling of criminal cartels.
4. The construction of new infrastructure.
5. Merit-based immigration.
6. Buy and hire American.
Then there were the Democratic women dressed in white to represent Suffragettes. What did they find objectionable about:
1. Affordable and accessible childcare?
2. Women entrepreneurs gaining access to networks, markets and capital?
But worst of all was the reaction of the Democratic side of the aisle which met President Trump’s announcement that he was creating an office to serve American victims. The office will be called VOICE—Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement. This was met with a chorus of boos, hisses and groans. Shameful!
Even more reprehensible were comments made by an ex-Hillary Clinton staffer, Dan Grilo. He tweeted, “Sorry, Owens’ wife, you’re not helping yourself or your husband’s memory by standing there and clapping like an idiot. Trump just used you.”
Grilo was terminated by his private-sector employer. Let’s hope he can soon find a new career as a fryolator assistant on the graveyard shift of a fast-food restaurant.
During my years as a detective on the Lewiston Police Department, I had a lot of dealings with defense attorneys, both professionally and socially. In court they were the opposition, not the enemy. My job was to develop evidence to prove a defendant committed the crime for which they were charged. The attorney’s job was to question my findings in order to create doubt that this client had committed the crime.
Sometimes it got heated. But in the end, it was business—not personal. We then went on to the next case.
Politics today has become very personal. Hatred blinds both sides and prevents solutions—solutions needed if our country is to survive. It makes one long for the days of President Ronald Reagan and Speaker of the House Thomas “Tip” O’Neil, where compromise would be found.
“But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Well, Rep. Pelosi, premium payers found out what was in it, and we find Obamacare unpalatable. Now it is up to the Republican Party to keep their promise and repeal and replace it. No more excuses.
It might be a complicated piece of legislation, but it is doable. Senate and House Republicans have had more than enough time to come up with a solution. You might say their political future depends on it.