U.S. Faces Serious Issues Yet Elected Grown-ups Still Play Political Games

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Dr. Ben Carson. Columnist believes Olivia Pope from ABC’s “Scandal” has as much chance as Dr. Carson for Republican presidential nomination


“I think it's time we stop/Children, what's that sound?/Everybody look – what's going down?”

Those lyrics – from Buffalo Springfield’s classic 1967 song “For What It’s Worth” are as timely as ever right now. In 2014, disingenuousness in America is prevalent. It’s all around us.

There are countless examples of disingenuous attitudes currently in this country.

Exhibit A: Dr. Ben Carson. Listen, folks: Dr. Benjamin Solomon “Ben” Carson is obviously a very brilliant man. He was a groundbreaking neurosurgeon --retired-- who is a now bestselling author, an in-demand public speaker, and an outspoken conservative.

I have absolutely nothing against Dr. Carson personally. I’m familiar with his backstory. I know that he’s a man of faith. Here’s the thing: all this talk of drafting Dr. Carson as the Republican Presidential nominee in 2016 is just that – talk.

The Grand Old Party has never elevated a person of color to such lofty heights. Someday, it might – but this isn’t the time, and Dr. Carson isn’t the person.

Dr. Carson is as likely to win that nomination as Olivia Pope from ABC’s “Scandal.” The major political party which has called President Obama everything but a child of God and has abandoned even the pretense of outreach to Black Americans is suddenly enlightened enough to anoint Dr. Carson as its chosen one?

Give me a break. Anyone who actually believes that is disingenuous.

Exhibit B: Brian Kemp. Mr. Kemp is Georgia’s Secretary of State. In July, Mr. Kemp said these to a conservative audience: “In closing I just wanted to tell you, real quick, after we get through this runoff, you know the Democrats are working hard, and all these stories about them, you know, registering all these minority voters that are out there and others that are sitting on the sidelines, if they can do that, they can win these elections in November.”

What was Mr. Kemp actually saying to the group of Gwinnett County Republicans this summer? Was he simply throwing them red meat? Was he speaking from the perspective of Georgia’s Secretary of State or from the perspective of a private citizen who happens to be a Republican?

I’ve heard the audio clip from this particular appearance. No conspiracy theory here. I wasn’t in attendance that day. I didn’t see the man’s body language. I choose to take Mr. Kemp at his word. But because of who he is and what capacity he serves in, shouldn’t Mr. Kemp have known better?

According to Georgia’s Constitution, the Secretary of State is charged with the responsibilities of supervising and monitoring elections in Georgia and providing campaign finance disclosure. Mr. Kemp’s comments should have been a head-scratcher if he had said those things publicly in Oklahoma – considered to among the reddest of red states. Oklahoma isn’t geographically close to Georgia, either. For this man, serving in his capacity, to say those things in the same state and city where he’s supposed to be fighting for the integrity of voting rights for all Georgians – regardless of their political ideology – is preposterous.

With all due respect, Mr. Kemp should be facing an ethics board. He’s clearly disingenuous.

Exhibit C: Those who criticize the President’s response to the ISIL/ISIS threat. So because he doesn’t want yet another ground war in Iraq, he’s a coward?

Because the President authorized military airstrikes against ISIL/ISIS in Iraq and Syria, his critics are justified in calling him too cautious? It’s ironic that the only thing the House and the Senate have been able to scrap up the votes for in months was the authorization for funding to go to war with ISIS. The majority of our U.S. Senators and Congressmen are disingenuous.

We are war – again – and these people went on vacation for 6 weeks, came to Washington for 8 workdays, and left again for home so they can campaign for re-election. They won’t be back until the middle of November.

Once reelected, I presume they will return to Washington for the purpose of filibustering, not voting anything through, and blaming each other for everything. Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – oh brother.

Exhibit D: We the people. We, too, are complicit in this foolishness. We allow ourselves to be played by bad political actors time and time again.

We hear and see and smell the lies – yet we somehow convince ourselves that our side is always right. We declare the other side as always wrong. Why do we fall into the trap of demanding accountability from each other when we should be demanding accountability from our elected officials?

“Children, what's that sound?”

Disingenuous means playing games, and America’s issues are far too serious.

Play time is over. For what it’s worth, our leaders should step up – or step off. 


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