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We need a better way to get things done - The Galveston County Daily News : Guest Columns

November 27, 2014

We need a better way to get things done

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Posted: Wednesday, August 6, 2014 5:40 pm

Whether the president is right or wrong, any failure on his part is no excuse for Congress to not act, to even leave on vacation when the current acute border crisis is driving the people deeper and deeper into acrimonious controversy.

This is like a bunch of elementary kids running off when the teacher steps out. Certainly there likely is no way to achieve for other subjects the unity displayed in the vote for a $225 million arms supply for Israel. Wouldn’t it be nice, though?

The situation between the Palestinians and Israel is older and likely even less resolvable than our immigration problem, but in both there are different perspectives depending on from which end one is looking.

One wonders why that vote was not unanimous in the House as it was in the Senate. What made the four Democrats and the four Republicans vote against the unconditional replenishment of the Iron Dome defense system? Could it be because this gift was being made to a country with a gross national product per capita higher than countries like Italy — or even almost half of our states?

We have difficulty with seeing money being used for illegal immigrant children that could be used for our own. We are struggling to cover the cost of caring for our veterans.

Our foreign policy is often hampered by the realization of the cost involved were we to select a military intervention as a solution. We are still recovering from the cost of Iraq and Afghanistan. Who gave U.S. money to our country to conduct those campaigns?

Sure, we owe it to our ally Israel to help the Israelis defend themselves against indiscriminate rocket attacks. But we also owe it to their people, as well as to the Palestinian women and children, and as a world leader, to authorize our Secretary of State to do everything possible to help toward a political peace, or at least a truce.

We also need to be careful not to lose the moral high ground, as in our condemnation of Russia supplying Ukrainian rebels when we provide tank ammunition to Israel.

So, why when we tie significant conditions to any domestic appropriations to force the president to act the way we believe, didn’t we tie some conditions to giving Israel further means to operate at will?

Could that be why eight of our representatives had the strength to expose themselves to the scorn they are likely to receive?

Looking at it this way, one hopes all of our chosen leaders on all sides had similar courage.

Govern us. Do not pander to whomever. Do not grandstand. Do not be afraid to take a stand that may not be popular at home, but will take us toward an acceptable compromise. Work with, rather than against, each other. Give us the solutions we so badly need to heal ourselves.

You, we, owe it to one another to choose leaders who will act like that. We cannot keep wanting it all “my way.” We need to choose and be guided onto our way.