Our nation needs a hero: Black, white, brown, yellow, female, male or somewhere in between. We need someone to ride in on a white horse or a fire-breathing dragon to lift us from the morass we have fallen into, to turn chaos into creative order. In the words of Simon and Garfunkel in their musical ode to Mrs. Robinson, “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you….” But “Jolting Joe has left and gone away….” We are bereft of rational and visionary leadership in our national Administration. Maybe Marvel would send us Captain America or Black Widow.

Those of us old enough to remember the era of the movie “The Graduate” recall the days when the Republican members of Congress were more responsible and reasonable. Under Nixon, for all his faults, the EPA, the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts were born in the 1970s. Republican President Reagan and Democrat Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill would have a drink together. Members of Congress crossed the aisle to socialize. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a functioning government.

Now we have rancor and the dismal swamp of discord. Anger abounds, and very little is getting done to advance the American ideal of government by and for the people. Special interests write the regulations, the EPA has reversed its role and protects the polluters, and Republicans in Congress follow like lemmings behind their Mad King. Getting reelected by the “Base” takes precedence over good governing. The Administration has its wall; not on the border but around itself, disregarding the Constitution and refusing to honor congressional subpoenas. The tripartite balance of the Federal Government is being undermined.

Instead of a hero they sent in the clowns. My hope is that out of the multitude of Democratic presidential candidates someone will emerge to lead us back from the cliff and restore our national dignity and just purpose. And, a rational Republican to challenge the incumbent. Maybe Jolting Joe is waiting around the corner for a comeback.

DICK BAUMAN

BLACKSBURG

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