Inside the Capitol

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

4-30 Don't Get Too Excited

Syndicated Columnist

SANTA FE -- It's getting a little noisy out there. Do you think you could tone it down? Probably not. We have a lot going on. And people have a lot to say.
America is at one of those points along its path through history when serious disagreement occurs about the directions it is heading.
This time around, two very disparate groups are loudly demonstrating their displeasure with government actions. It is to be expected.
In November 2008, Americans decided to alter their course, involving wars and financial institutions running rampant, by choosing a leader with minimal experience and much darker skin than our nation previously ever had considered accepting.
Although he won by majority vote, that leader was a symbol of change that a vocal minority of Americans do not like. And thus was born the Tea Party movement.
The Tea Party's objectives still are developing but its overarching message seems to be that it does not like much of anything about government and is eager to assemble and express its desire for change.
While the Tea Party movement has been developing over the past year, Americans have watched, and many have worried, about their fondness for taking firearms to rallies and asserting guns may be necessary for taking back their country.
Following the recent passage of a national health care bill, property crimes were committed against the offices of several members of Congress. The crimes were well publicized amid charges the reporting of those crimes was politically motivated.
In a completely unrelated development, the new governor of Arizona signed state legislation requiring police to question people about their immigration status.
Many in the Hispanic community contend the law is blatant racial discrimination. Some demonstrations have become violent. Those instances also have been reported.
And thus our nation currently is experiencing protests from both the right and the left. But we can handle it. We fought a horrible four-year civil war and survived it. We came out on the other side even stronger.
Name me any group of Americans that didn't come over on the Mayflower and they have been discriminated against at some point in our history.
And yet we've made it through all those crises. In fact, except for minor occasions when we forget, Americans value diversity. We feel it makes us stronger.
Remember those dark days following the 9/11 attacks on our country? Newspapers throughout the world carried glowing tributes to our nation and how we would survive as the beacon to the world. I reprinted some of those in this column.
My wife and I traveled even more than usual in the months following 9/11 because few others wanted to and travel was cheap. No matter what the foreign country, we saw signs saying things like "We all are Americans."
Our country wasted much of that good will in subsequent years but the world still admires us as a resilient nation that can overcome its disagreements and come out even stronger.
I've written before that politics is just a game and that we shouldn't let it distress us. The events of today, with Republicans unanimously saying no to everything Democrats try to cram down their throats, happens in cycles.
Both parties have their chances to be on top and do all those things that a decade later they will be damning the other side for doing. No principles are sacred
Ideological groups on both ends of the political spectrum demand purity to their principles from their elected representatives. But the politicians in the middle fight over what is possible, using whatever tools are beneficial to them at the time.
Even this column, an attempt to lower blood pressures, will elicit heated responses contending I just don't understand that one party has it all right and the other all wrong.
It just isn't worth that coronary, good people.
FRI, 4-30-10

JAY MILLER, 3 La Tusa, Santa Fe, NM 87505
(ph) 982-2723, (fax) 984-0982, (e-mail)



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