Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Old White Folks

When you break our country down into 435 House districts, you’ll find that Democratic voters are concentrated in metropolitan areas and that Republican votes are mostly spread out over suburban and rural areas.  

The most recent gerrymandering of House districts, by Republican politicians may have create an absent of a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives for the next decade.  The demographics in all of those gerrymandered Republican House districts across the country, don’t match the demographics nationally.  Those Republican districts are demographically much older and much whiter.  However, congressional Republicans and President Trump may have underestimated the intelligence of the older citizens living in rural districts.

My brother Michael lives a hundred miles from Delhi.  We share a congressional district of Republican strongholds in 11 counties.  He wrote the following letter to our representative in the House of Representatives.

“Dear Congressman Faso,

“Thank you for your form letter reply to my resent inquiry.  It was not offensive and general enough to sooth anyone who needs soothing.  As a freshman in Congress I realize that you may have minimal influence and might be inclined to not rock the boat.  

“Understood.  Given this reality as well as the polarized views in our district, may I suggest a new approach: Demonstrate what you really believe in regard to matters that perhaps are not presently arriving on your desk for action…loftier matters that could temporarily put you at odds with the silent herd of Congressman that live in fear of the next election or the next project that could otherwise not go to their districts.  Your constituents are looking for moral leadership, not deal-making. 

“Question: Do you consider President Trump a role model for our sons and daughters?  Do you feel safe with this man as President?

"By providing two unequivocal answers, you can potentially draw many, many more of your constituents to the middle, quite a challenge in the 19th, but don’t underestimate how much understanding and support can be earned by a display of courage.

"Michael G. O’Leary
"Columbia County Director of Human Services (Retired)"


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