Home » Politics » What Happens Wednesday Morning?

What Happens Wednesday Morning?

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
~Abraham Lincoln

When I was in college, many of my professors were partial to blue book exams. I got the first C of my academic life my freshman year in my Intro to Political Science class. The semester final was a blue book with just one question. Why is American in more danger from attacks within than attacks from outside our borders?

This was in 1979. We were experiencing a time of relative peace and prosperity as a nation. I looked at the question – 50% of my grade for the semester – and had no idea what the answer was. I eventually filled my 6 pages with everything I could think of that Dr Loy might be alluding to which, based on my grade, read like the drivel that it was. I simply didn’t know. I have a better idea what he meant today.

Hopefully, by Wednesday morning, the election will be over and the man who will serve as the President of the United States for the next fours years will have been selected. Wednesday morning some percentage of the country will be very happy. Probably about the same percentage will believe the end of the world is near. Regardless of the outcome, I’m guessing the majority of Americans will be slightly optimistic or slightly disturbed or slightly indifferent.

This isn’t really a post about politics. It’s a post about attitudes and civility and camaraderie. It’s a post about baseball and apple pie. My Dad was a very good baseball player. He was good enough to be named Outstanding Athlete his senior year at Indiana State and good enough to play semi-pro ball.

One of his younger friends was better. Dad coached him when he tried out for the Major Leagues. His friend left baseball and became famous for other reasons. His name was Birch Bayh. If you’re not from Indiana, that may not ring a bell. He represented Indiana as a Democratic Senator from 1963-1981 when he lost to a Republican, Dan Quayle.

My Dad liked Birch. I don’t know if he voted for him or not. Dad was a life-long Republican. I do know that he only had kind things to say about him. I guess what started me thinking about my Dad and Birch Bayh was an interview with Chuck Hagel, the retired Republican Senator from Nebraska. He said:

Gone from our political scene today are the World War II generation leaders. Now those were men and women, Democrats and Republicans, of significant character who always put America first. They didn’t put their parties first. They put America first. They understood their responsibility to help govern our country, find consensus on the big issues, solve the problems and move our country forward. They were never confused about that.

Dad is in the back row, center.

Birch’s son, Evan, became Indiana’s 46th Governor and then was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1998 to the seat that was once held by his father. He chose not to run for a 3rd term and became a Fox News contributor in 2011. Yes, he’s a Democrat and yes, I did say Fox.

My Dad and Birch Bayh were Christmas card friends. Their card to us was always a family photo. Evan and I are just a year apart. I always had a  pretend crush on him. I looked at those Christmas cards a lot!

I never met the Bayh’s, but I recently read Evan’s reflections on the changes in the political climate in Washington between the time his Dad was first elected in 1963 and when Evan decided not to run again in 2011. Speaking of his Dad he said:

It really was a different generation. There was trust. There was camaraderie that people had forged together by casting tough political votes. My father’s first re-election was in 1968. You can’t imagine this today. The leader of the Republican caucus came up to my father on the floor of the Senate, put his arm around his shoulder and asked what he could do to help with his re-election. You would never see this today. That sense of camaraderie, of country first, it’s dissipated and our nation is suffering because of that.

Evan’s right. It’s just about impossible to imagine that happening today and that’s sad.

With Malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds. ~ Abraham Lincoln

What happens Wednesday morning is up to us. What if we take President Lincoln’s advice and begin to bind up the nation’s wounds? Maybe we can find our way back to camaraderie and civility? I don’t think we can wait for it to start in Washington. I think it’ll have to start with We, the People. It’s as American as baseball and apple pie.

39 thoughts on “What Happens Wednesday Morning?

  1. Loved the story. Debbie gave me the link.

    Those were indeed different days. It is tempting to to think – now that it is over – let’s forgive and forget, join hands and pull together. Was it easier to do then? Did everyone just have petty differences to put aside?

    Today, one side want’s the government to pay for abortions caused by promiscuous conduct while the other side suggests a cut back on promiscuous conduct. The list is long of the substantial differences.

    So, as tempting as it is to wish we could pull together . . . how is it actually possible? There was a time we were all on the same end of the rope. Now we are engaged in a tug of war. ???

    • Hello Mike –
      There is, without a doubt, a great divide.
      I thought Mr. Romney gave a gracious concession speech and addressed the reality of what lies ahead.

      “The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work. And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion.”

      I’m hoping we’ll heed the call to rise to the occasion.
      Because we can’t compromise on some things, doesn’t mean we can’t compromise on anything.
      Our country surely isn’t more divided that it was when President Lincoln beseeched the nation to begin the process of binding up the wounds.

  2. Pingback: Bit in Mouth …let’s vote | Resting in His Grace

  3. Well said, Debbie… well said. May our confidence on Wednesday be in Whom it should. Civility… a good word for the day. Blessings good friend. Pot Pie’s voting for the Purina sales rep…

    • Hello MT!
      Passionate people can have differing positions without losing perspective – and without becoming condescending or mean-spirited… but not often, it seems.
      We’ve created a climate where civility is a perceived weakness and being respectful is confused with agreeing or capitulating. Sad, I think
      On a happy note, Henry’s casting his vote with his buddy Pot Pie! 😀

  4. This is really beautiful. “Things” have changed. Attitudes have changed. Trust is gone, fear and panic are the norm now. Where did all strong leaders go, and why don’t there seem to be those trusted civil servants anymore? Maybe Americans DON’T want to cooperate anymore. Maybe we are simply out for ourselves (well duh); and in so doing we have lost the greatest joy of community. Reaching out to others, and reaching in to our hearts.

    I know people feel suspicious of people who are “nice”. Or who seem to love and care about other people. THAT is sad … however it will not stop me, earth angel. Warrior woman will keep being a lover and caring person.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have much confidence in our leaders (either one). NOW, I’m talking President.

    I am convinced i will feel slightly indifferent … and Don will continue to plan a move to Australia or Canada. 🙂

    • Hey Mel!
      You know, when I watch people rally to help those whose lives have been torn a part by Sandy, I feel hopeful and so encouraged.

      When I listen to people talk about their political perspectives and even religious and social positions I often come to your conclusion: “Maybe we are simply out for ourselves and in so doing we have lost the greatest joy of community. Reaching out to others, and reaching in to our hearts.”

      I hope that’s not the case. Individually we can continue to treat everyone with equal kindness and compassion and respect (not always easy when we hold diametrically opposed views) but always appropriate and needed.
      Thank you for sharing your wise thoughts (and I hope Don decides to stay in the USA)! 😀

      • Hi Debbie … I forgot to mention the awesome pictures of your dad. I did not know he was such a great baseball player and a great mentor. All good.

        I know what you mean about people coming together to help others in disasters.

        I don’t think people realize that our souls are in disaster mode! How did we become suspicious, distrustful and fearful of one another?

        I know for a fact that i ALWAYS (USED TO) think that no one else had problems: Other people had it going on, they all looked “fine”. Oh wait … maybe that was the Brady Bunch I was watching … or a commercial for skin-care products (being applied to women who have perfect skin) 😉

        Anyhoo, just blowin’ a little smoke before i go a’votin! 😉

        Here’s to Acting as if we’re ALL in disaster mode ALL the time. Help your neighbor … we’re all struggling AND we’re all good (relativity applies). 🙂

  5. Debbie . .I don’t have the link to share with you right now, but I do have goose bumps. Another blogger, Mike, from HungerandThirst, has started a new blog. It’s called, We the People. It’s about this. Thank you gracious friend, for listening and writing what is on your heart. Blessings and love!

  6. Wow, Debbie, this got me teary-eyed, sad, that things have so deteriorated, that America has lost the old higher values. I agree that it must start with “We the People”–and I confess my faith is not great for optimistic action and positive results. Praying for America, for the voters and leaders, and that my negativity is just a mood, not a reflection of true reality. God bless us all–with mercy, wisdom, favor, and His unfailing love.

  7. Very well said and timely. Civility, respect and putting country first does not equate to political correctness. Honest, open dialogue about issues with a constant eye toward finding a solution that moves the country forward is what we each should strive for. I pray we can ALL find the strength to do that.

  8. Beautifully written. You should post this on the opinion page of a national newspaper— your thoughtful words need to be heard throughout this land.

    • Karla –
      Thank you for always reading and for speaking up.
      This wasn’t my usual fair or my favorite topic.
      Your kind words are a balm to my heart.


    Americans must together for the good of the People and not the good of ANY poliitcal party

    Otherwise America will not move forward

    Imagine the scene of the current President, all former Presidents and current Majorit/y Minority leaders getting together with their arms around each other saying “What can we do to heal America?”

    God Bless you and America

    • Hello Susie!
      I believe that at some point we’ll have to begin to pull together as a nation again or fracture.
      I’m not suggesting agreeing on everything. But I am suggesting listening or there will be no learning and there will most certainly be no progress.
      I’m entirely in favor of lively, healthy, respectful disagreements, where each side can acknowledge that the other wants to solve problems but has a very different way to go about it.
      The mean spirited language of hate and disrespect for those in office and those running for office shows up in the bright spotlight of politics, but is symptomatic of a general disregard and disrespect for anyone with a differing opinion – political, social, religious etc…
      Thank you for adding your thoughts.

      • I agree, dear one!
        We can’t agree on everything and there are some huge differences but we must learn from mistakes and grow forward – just like an argument there are valid points for each party – My dad used to say: In a argument the truth is somewhere in the middle
        God Bless

  10. Ladies… as I’m sure you should know, this country started with the Declaration of Independence (passed by one vote IIRC) and then the Revolutionary War.

    At that time the citizens were divided 50/50 as to independence or not as it seems we are today concerning democrat or republican type governing.

    If I’m right, the Rodney King “can’t we all just get along” PC non confrontational movement has failed and we are not divided 50/50 now. I say 2/3rds of us are sick of the PC movement that has led us to 16 trillion dollars of debt and 23 million Americans out of work and 47% of us on food stamps, etc. etc. etc. and I believe that Tuesday, the majority of voters will remove the democrat threat from within that has been designed to ruin the USA.

    • Gary –
      This is a quote from Mr Romney addressing a crowd of over 2000 in Iowa on Saturday, Nov 3rd:
      “I want you to reach across the street to the neighbor, who has that other sign in his front yard. And I’m going to reach across the aisle in Washington, DC, to the politicians who are working for the other candidate.”
      Partisanship thwarted many of President George W. Bush’s positive efforts on behalf of American in his second term. Partisanship thwarted many of President Obama’s positive efforts on behalf of America in his 4 years as President.
      Mr Romney is right. We have to begin to reach across the street and reach across the isle or no President, regardless of party affiliation, will be able to accomplish anything for our country.
      “Maybe the worst leadership failure is the readiness to disrespect your opponent. That sort of attitude. That take no prisoners attitude filters down into the public square in discourse. It’s bad, it’s corrosive and it divides us.”
      ~ Stephen Costello

      Republican Senator Olympia Snowe, a three-term veteran from Maine, did not stand for re-election this fall. Snowe, one of the handful of moderates left in the Senate, said she is tired of the gridlock that has paralyzed Congress.
      She was considered one of the most effective and respected members of the Senate by both the Democratic and the Republican parties.

      In a paper statement announcing her retirement, Snowe said she does not “realistically expect the partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change.”

      Snowe’s Full Statement:

      “After an extraordinary amount of reflection and consideration, I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for re-election to the United States Senate.

      “After 33 years in the Congress this was not an easy decision. My husband and I are in good health. We have laid an exceptionally strong foundation for the campaign, and I have no doubt I would have won re-election. It has been an indescribable honor and immeasurable privilege to serve the people of Maine, first in both houses of Maine’s legislature and later in both houses of Congress. To this day, I remain deeply passionate about public service, and I cherish the opportunity I have been given for nearly four decades to help improve the lives of my fellow Mainers.

      “As I have long said, what motivates me is producing results for those who have entrusted me to be their voice and their champion, and I am filled with that same sense of responsibility today as I was on my first day in the Maine House of Representatives. I do find it frustrating, however, that an atmosphere of polarization and ‘my way or the highway’ ideologies has become pervasive in campaigns and in our governing institutions.

      “With my Spartan ancestry I am a fighter at heart; and I am well prepared for the electoral battle, so that is not the issue. However, what I have had to consider is how productive an additional term would be. Unfortunately, I do not realistically expect the partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term. So at this stage of my tenure in public service, I have concluded that I am not prepared to commit myself to an additional six years in the Senate, which is what a fourth term would entail.

      As I enter a new chapter, I see a vital need for the political center in order for our democracy to flourish and to find solutions that unite rather than divide us. It is time for change in the way we govern, and I believe there are unique opportunities to build support for that change from outside the United States Senate. I intend to help give voice to my fellow citizens who believe, as I do, that we must return to an era of civility in government driven by a common purpose to fulfill the promise that is unique to America.

      • Hi Debbie. Romney was not ‘my guy’ going in but he won the primary and I fully support him although not his across the isle “bipartisanship”. Maybe that will change if he proves to be a good fiscal conservative constitutional Gingrich type negotiator.

        Snowe was never even close and IMO much more democrat than Republican. Same for Arlen Spector. And their bipartisan efforts, along with the “moderates/independents” amongst us, got us into the mess we are in now. Which in my and millions of others’ opinions, will ruin the US if it is not stopped now.

        I just heard that OH early voting shows +14% more Republicans and -4% democrats than in the 2008 election respective OH counties. Romney is up in early votes in FL too.

        I say us Tea Party and other fiscal conservative types, including some democrats and many independents, are going to turn the election into a larger rout of incumbents than was accomplished in the 2010 midterm elections.I also heard that Romney is up 92,000 in the OH early voting.

        By the way, I am very hard pressed to find anything that the President has done that is positive other than finally deciding to allow bin Laden to.be taken out. But then the WH screwed up big time by announcing all the intelligence material that was found…then comes Fast and Furious, then Libya, then the Muslim Spring and the loss of Egypt as an ally, Then Benghazi and the huge failure of the response to the destruction done by Sandy.

        There’s also the loss of Iraq to Iran and now Afghanistan (although he said it was a war we could not afford to lose). And all it costs us is the 6 trillion + dollars of deficit spending, more millions of lost jobs if he’s reelected and all the interest that debt is going to cost the next few generations of Americans. While he totally disregarded the Constitution and by passed Congress with over a 1000 Executive Orders.

        • I forgot to correct the Snowe was it comment about “our democracy”… the US is not a democracy, it is a representative republic.

          • Well I was wrong. At least partially. For months before the election I kept saying, mostly to myself and my wife, that ‘they’ will steal the election. By midnight the 6th I was saying ‘ I don’t know how but, they stole the election’.

            Now we see that in many places across the country that many more people voted than were registered to vote and in a number of places Romney got 0 votes while OBAMA! got 100%. And then there are the likes of CNN out in King county TX looking into why there were only 5 votes for OBAMA!. I’m sure they will claim racism or some such.

            Plus the coverup of Benghazi, the $139 billion was it of deficit spending in just Oct.? Another all but 500,000 lost jobs last week. And the banning of something like 162 million acres of public land from oil shale production just two days after the election. The president is found to have lied to us about Benghazi. And the western world, including the US, is backing away from supporting Israel while hundreds of missiles a day rein down on Israel.

            And we see congress was in session for a few days and did nothing but smile or look concerned for the cameras and then went home for the holidays without doing anything about the looming tax increases and deficit spending that potentially will cause millions more lost jobs and millions more home foreclosures and millions more of us going on food stamps and welfare just to survive.

            I’m afraid that may not save many of us and I keep waiting for some woman to proclaim something like “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” as she calls for supporters to join her in turning things around….

            I keep hoping for a younger, like a 50 something version of Margret Thacher or Golda Meir to step up. I’ve always admired both of them.

            BTW, oppositional attitudes create a balance as opposed to socialism or communism.

  11. My favorite Pogo quote, “We have met the enemy and he is us!” I think the oppositional attitudes stem from fear and a need to feel superior. Both necessary ingredients for instant enemies. I keep eying the calendar and I’m thankful for the fast forward button on the DVR.

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