One of the things about growing up in upstate New York is that you get to know a lot of Revolutionary War history, in particular the earliest battles of the war. New York’s nickname, “the Empire State” is because at that time, it held “the keys to the empire.” This makes sense if you realize that in the 18’th century, moving troops and supplies was a laborious task. Roads were poor or non-existent, so progress overland was time-consuming and difficult. To move heavy materials, troops, and other supplies quickly? The quickest way was by water. Look at a map of New York, and you have Lake Champlain and the Hudson River running North-South. From Albany, you have the Mohawk River running East-West. On the northern end of the state, you have the Saint Lawrence river, leading into Lake Ontario. If you were the British, and wanted to split the colonies, those routes were the key to splitting and breaking the Revolution.
In my end of year post, I talked about the rather numbing speed with which news, and not good news, came pouring out about President Trump. It made it rather tough to keep up, and it didn’t do much for my ability to blog about it. In that post, I said this:
I’ve lived through every administration since Eisenhower. I haven’t always liked who was President, and I can’t think of a single one whose policies or actions I’ve agreed with all the time. There were some where I didn’t agree with most of their policies. I’ve seen my fair share of scandals, and in case you didn’t guess, I was around for Watergate. But here’s the thing. In those 62 years, I’ve never seen the number, depth, and constant litany of lies and corrupt behavior I’ve seen from this President and his administration.
This past November saw Democrats take back the House of Representatives, and a wave of new Representatives coming in from all backgrounds. In terms of diversity, it was a stark contrast to what you’ll see on the Republican side. They’re also bringing in a new energy and ideas. A few of them have attracted a lot of attention from the media and various liberal outlets. That’s all well and good, but there’s also a big pitfall that can await them.
In a recent post, I was asked ” 63 million is a significant number of people. Do their needs and wants no longer matter?” and why I seem to lack sympathy for their predicaments. We’re in yet another government shutdown, and the news is full of stories about the impacts. Large number of government employees are either furloughed or working without pay. Trash buildup in national parks, fishing fleets waiting to put to sea, infrastructure improvements held up, and the list goes on and on. Add in the impacts of the trade war on farmers and technology, and it’s bad, alright. So why do I often seem lacking in sympathy?
The 2018 mid-terms saw the Democratic Party take back control of the House of Representatives. Among the new representatives are a group who have been pushing a more liberal agenda. That’s not a bad thing, but their supporters have a bad habit, egged on by the “professional left.” That is, much like various of the Tea Party on the Right, they’re enamored of catchy slogans than actual nuts-and-bolts policy. When asked what they think the phrase they’re using means, they come up with a wide variety of answers. That’s rather difficult to put into legislation, but in one case, it turns out that they don’t understand what they’re asking for.