Where are America's statesmen?

Thomas Payne offers hope for America

I admit to being grumpy today.

I just want to receive my COVID-19 vaccine. So much talk about opening the economy. I want to open up my everyday life and return to the business of living. I will be vaccinated when it is my turn, but patience is difficult to come by. Sorry to have a selfish moment.

Watching the Senate trial gave me a glimpse of the partisan maneuvering that will be with us for at least the next two years. I just want former President Trump to fade from the news. He will not.

Watching the Capitol security footage of the riot just makes me sad and reminds me of the disappointment of watching a sitting president incite a crowd of supporters to riot. We should expect more from our elected chief executive and that is an understatement.

Where are the statesmen? Are we no longer able to invest in ourselves enough to recognize our core beliefs and values, earned by study and life experience, and play them out in our daily business of living? When will our elected officials remove the partisan colored glasses that polarize our politics? Partisan herding allows for stunning policy reversals based on political party, and not dictated by any long-held beliefs and values of our representatives. A month after the Capitol Riot there are Republicans that can gloss over the events of that day and the consequences.

It should be possible to simultaneously be a Republican, condemn the riot, and hold President Trump accountable for his portion of responsibility for what occurred. It is easy for Democratic representatives to be on the side of angels, prosecuting the riot and apportioning responsibility and consequences. I am waiting to see the Democrats behave in kind when the focus is on them, and when they are required to put country ahead of party politics.

President Trump has split the GOP. Since he wants to keep the party, it makes sense that many Republicans will need to find shelter under a different banner. I am not looking for an anti-Trump party. I am a conservative that wants to move on from Trump. I feel like this will need to be an organic process more than rolling out the same party leaders that got us here.

Thomas Paine, one of our Founding Father Racketeers, famously said we needed more than a “summer soldier and sunshine patriot” in difficult times. But in the same pamphlet, “The Crisis,” he shed light on regular citizens to come forward in crisis and provide leadership.

Yet panics, in some cases, have their uses; they produce as much good as hurt. Their duration is always short; the mind soon grows through them, and acquires a firmer habit than before. But their peculiar advantage is that they are the touchstones of sincerity and hypocrisy, and bring things and men to light, which might otherwise have lain forever undiscovered.

Here is hoping that our next leaders are emerging and that we as a nation have the resolve, patience, beliefs, and values to make the difficult choices ahead.

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