A Mystery to Me

One Woman

Try as I might I cannot comprehend the current political world: the state of public opinion, the blame for this direction, the drought of honesty and integrity of one party, the concern re diminished mental acuity in another term for one presidential candidate with little regard for one just four years younger and the lack of value of experience gained in age.

Granted, my focus on this latter might be prejudiced by my own life of nine decades plus. However, I grew up in a time when age was respected for the wisdom gained from life’s experiences. It was not assumed that old age meant locked in glorifying the past instead of ideas for the future.

It is increasingly difficult for me to be polite to those shouting out that it is time for a new generation. Successful societies function with a balance of freshness and experience. No one group has a monopoly on wisdom.

There was a time when both of our major political parties wanted a well-functioning government within the beautiful concept of our founding fathers (again, I note that our mothers were ignored) developed for diverse peoples living together in harmony. Their differences were in how to achieve the goal. Now it is difficult—no, worse than difficult: impossible—to see anything but the Republicans grasping for power for those in office and their rich friends, far from what those early settlers envisioned.

Yes, power plays a part in any legitimate group but it is valid only if used for the good of all. Above all else should be integrity.

We are in serious trouble when the Supreme Court needs an ethics code. It goes without saying that only those with demonstrated respect for embracing the intent of a properly adopted law—integrity—should ever be considered for such a lofty position.

Intellect should triumph over political leanings. Prospective justices should be vetted to the extent possible for their commitment to the Constitution, not their desire for a different political world.

Of course, a Congress that within itself has more than its fair share of questionable members, be it their integrity or intellect, has a responsibility. It will censor a member who expresses an opinion that is the purpose for being a member of a legislative body but refuses to expel a person who was elected on a totally false campaign. Not just a few mistakes or an ill-stated belief but lawbreaking in almost every aspect.

The difference seems to be in political party membership. Also, if you belong to the party in power you can be excused for bizarre behavior or outrageous statements based on no truth whatsoever.

The Congress itself has its own horror rules of behavior adopted under totally different conditions. When the in-power party is reversed, the rules remain because the out-of-power group is just waiting for its opportunity to use the rules in its favor.

Designed for a different era, the Electoral College has given us a non-majority vote for President more than once. One senator continues to hold up military promotions completely, endangering our military to say nothing of fairness. All due to his desire to force his obviously minority opinion on reproductive rights.

It is absolutely frightening that a sexual predator, if not pervert, by his own comments, not an enemy’s rumor, could be the Republicans’ leading candidate for another term as President. There is astounding evidence questioning his integrity, whether it be in business, government, personal or whatever. It is no comfort that he was elected by the quirky Electoral College, not a majority vote, for the first term.

There is absolute evidence that he led an insurrection in an effort to retain the power of the President. Despite all our protections in our Constitution and subsequent action, this was entirely too close for comfort.

Another area too close for comfort is the near shutting down of the government because of the power control in Congress. And if that was not enough, we are dangerously close to another shutdown due to the House of Representatives replacing the Speaker because he prevented a government shutdown by daring to compromise for the good of the nation.

I never thought the San Joaquin Valley’s Kevin McCarthy (R–Bakersfield), who sold his soul to get the job, could look so good! Of course, that is only by comparison with his replacement.

The mystery is where the responsible adults are. Particularly sad and frightening because these condemnations are not just the rantings of an opposing party member. These are real happenings.

Lest you think I have ignored the shortcomings of the Democrats in this confusing array, I note President Biden’s own party members are endangering him when they focus on his age or his failure to enact all their wants expressed in the campaign, or the occasional misspoken word, or a stumble, or anything else showing that he is human.

Don’t they appreciate that he has had an opposing Congress, or do they know of any speaker who has not at some time stumbled over a word, or any person who has never stumbled physically?

Don’t they know the conditions that we deplore were set in motion long before the election? Don’t they understand that good change requires time?  Don’t they see what the alternative is if we fail a Biden second term? Where is their thinking?

Do they really think that the dictator “friend” of the previous president will stop his success in Ukraine? I would advise the Rs to also consider this last question.

There are more considerations, but you know them. Any day, give me the person with well-known integrity, experience and competence, regardless of age. Our government is designed to function not by the failings of one man but as a system. How else did we survive Jan. 6, 2021?

We are the world’s example for the hope of democracy, all that is good for humankind on this planet. At this time, there is no room for another egotistical maniac or his colleagues. Let us accept Joe Biden for the service he has given us despite whatever human frailties he might have. The superiority of his dedication and character are above question unless one’s judgment is limited by current political party affiliation.

It is our obligation, it is our opportunity to provide the best leadership possible. It is a mystery why there could be any question when the contrast is so obvious. Let us accentuate the positive with our support by voice and action to see that our nation has the leadership we deserve.


  • Ruth Gadebusch

    Ruth Gadebusch, a former naval officer, was recently recognized by the League of Women Voters with its Lipton Award for volunteer work in various community endeavors. She was elected four times to the Fresno Unified School District Board, appointed by Governor George Deukmejian to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and is an emeritus member of the Board of the Center for Civic Education.

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