- Advertisement -
Home Opinion Appalachian Notebook: Worrying about the new socialists and weak leaders

Appalachian Notebook: Worrying about the new socialists and weak leaders

An old friend and I talked recently about politics. We focused on the state of affairs in Washington, D.C., both of us bemoaning the fact that just when we think things can’t get worse, another atomic bomb goes off in the White House or Congress.

Politics is no longer about competent governance, what’s best for the American people. It’s a perpetual cycle of attack and retaliation, feeding media buzzards that pounce on the carrion of elected officials and public servants who’ve been pulled down by empowerment organizations. Hugs and kisses can get you in trouble these days faster than stealing a million dollars from the public coffers.

Joe Biden is an example. To my knowledge, he’s never been accused of criminal malfeasance. A hale fellow, well-met and not a bad guy for a Democrat, Biden is certainly capable of compromise and moving the national agenda forward. But accusations that he violated the personal space of women has branded him, whether or not there was any untoward intent on his part.

My friend and I had looked forward to Biden and President Trump squaring off in 2020, but this appears unlikely now.  We aren’t newcomers to state or national politics. We’ve been involved in election campaigns, served as liaisons for U.S. Senate and House staffs of both parties and worked behind the scenes on various projects at the behest of members of Congress.

Our concern is that the viciousness, hatred, lying and ignorance currently pervading national politics weakens our nation and moves us closer to the unthinkable: a schism that can’t be healed without forced fundamental change.

First, it is worth acknowledging that current warfare between the two major political parties—even within the parties themselves—seems unprecedented. The proverbial Swamp has swollen into a poison ocean where buccaneer fleets of special interests and activists set forth on missions to capture-and-destroy opponents, their pirate ships filled with treasure chests of donor gold and propelled by sails that billow in the gusts of media wind.

Forget the impartiality and objectivity of the Fourth Estate. National media junked those principles in favor of participatory carnage. Former news-reporting outlets which occasionally took public positions are now opinionated, manipulative and brazenly one-sided. Social media, newspapers, the networks and cable TV are the sharks of the poison political ocean, ready to rip apart anyone who doesn’t agree with their agendas, including other sharks (CNN and MSNBC versus Fox News, for example).

After the last election cycle, a new breed of politico was elevated by the media sharks. These freshmen lawmakers have been granted news-cycle prominence out of proportion to their intelligence, veracity, abilities, trustworthiness, platforms and commitment to the nation. I won’t mention any names except to note there is a flock of them with socialist agendas, and they appear incapable of compromise or effective problem-solving.

- Story Continues Below -

Join our mailing list

Get headlines delivered directly to your inbox with the Inside Scott Newsletter.

We will not sell or spam your email address.

Many of them, apparently, never studied American history or the principles of democratic governance. For example, the media’s twittering favorite among the new socialists recently stated that Republicans forced Franklin D. Roosevelt out of office.

Roosevelt, arguably the most effective modern U.S. president, died in office while World War II was still underway. He was the only president who served more than two terms. The Twenty-Second Amendment, ratified in 1951, limited the chief executive to two terms for a total of eight years.

The fact that this socialist did not know the life story of her party’s famed Twentieth-Century leader (and was unaware of a crucial amendment to the U.S. Constitution) made those of us who passed high school democracy groan in disbelief. (In 2018, a nonprofit organization, Rock the Vote, announced it would launch democracy classes to educate high school students. They should have made participation by new congressional candidates mandatory.)

ν Steve Oden is an award-winning columnist and former newspaper editor. He resides in Tennessee.

- Advertisement -
Steve Oden
Steve Oden is an award-winning columnist and former newspaper editor in Tennessee and Alabama. His column, "Appalachian Notebook," appears in the Independent Herald bi-weekly.
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected


Join our mailing list

We will not sell or spam your email address.

The Latest

Unemployment claims increase slightly in Scott County

The residual impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy may be beginning to rear its ugly head. After unemployment skyrocketed in March and...

Green to yellow: East Tennessee hospital capacity reaches ‘cautionary’ level for first time due to Covid-19

For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic reached East Tennessee, the region's health care capacity is reaching a point where it might soon...

Scott County has three cases of coronavirus added; statewide cases surge

The TN Dept. of Health is also reporting increased deaths and hospitalizations over the past 24 hours

TSSAA delays vote on contingency plan for fall sports; urges mask-wearing to help make sure games happen

The TSSAA Board of Control held a special called meeting on to discuss plans for the upcoming football and girls’ soccer seasons due to...

Related Stories

Garrett: It was a parade … But God showed up

It was a little before 7 p.m. Saturday evening, and folks were rolling into the First Baptist Church parking lot in Huntsville, joining forces...

Garrett: An imperfect union founded on perfect ideas

The United States of America is an imperfect union founded on perfect ideas. When Thomas Jefferson wrote America’s Declaration of Independence in June 1776...

Garrett: America’s latest turmoil isn’t as black and white as it might seem

I seethed with anger when I watched the video of now-fired-and-jailed Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of George Floyd’s neck...

Editorial: Isn’t it time for Tennessee to stop requiring self-quarantine while test results are awaited?

You no longer have to be sick to get tested for novel coronavirus in Tennessee. Well ahead of the national curve on testing for Covid-19...

Editorial: Gov. Lee, our barbershops and salons must reopen now!

As of Friday in Scott County, you will be able to go to the grocery, have your oil changed, browse for new furniture, sit...
- Advertisement -