Where are America’s leaders?

To the Editor:

I was happy to attend, a first for me, Congressman McCarthy’s Community Forum earlier last week and of course to hear of the actions he is taking to resolve the mix-up in furlough requirements for China Lake. Like many residents of Kern County I am also hopeful when seeing a very capable “hometown” man in such a prominent position nationally. However, days later I remain quite concerned over the tone and content of McCarthy’s presentation and his prospects of ever become an important leader for all Americans.

This worry stems from his response to my expression of great concern about the polarization in our society caused by the continued dissolution of middle-class America and what he sees as answers to that and the fact that Congress now has a combined approval rating of 15-17 percent, perhaps the lowest in history. He chuckled, either amusingly or nervously (“Ha ha”), and stated that he thought it might be even lower than that (and he is right... it is now 12 percent as reported by USA Today on July 24). No answers were provided.

However, McCarthy was quite vocal on how he is working hard behind the scenes, one more time, in a last-ditch effort to derail the Affordable Health Care Act. He went on to tell us that he keeps a chess set in his Washington office and it was all about strategy… foreseeing your opponent’s moves... etc., etc. I asked him how that position squared with the latest reports out of New York State regarding the substantial reductions in premiums the citizens of that state are seeing as a result of Obama Care. (www.nytimes.com/2013/07/19/opinion/the-good-news-on-insurance-premiums.html?_r=0) He expressed surprise. I later e-mailed him the information.

The bottom line is that the content, tone and lack of personal accomplishments to report that are truly benefiting America was a huge disappointment. Probably my own fault to expect more when 85 percent of Americans are wondering where all the leaders have gone... the ones that would have been too embarrassed to show their faces in their home towns, let alone laugh “Ha ha,” even if a nervous one, after a year of such poor performance.

Where are the leaders intent on building America, not tearing it down? I sincerely suggest the Mr. McCarthy immediately dump the chess game metaphor (too many pawns being sacrificed in favor of personal ambition and party politics) from his speeches and closet the office chess set. A half-dozen respected historical and contemporary books on the art of political compromise and its absolute necessity in moving nations forward would be good both on the coffee table in the Washington office and for insuring good positive problem-solving reports in future Community Forums. I have no doubt that it would also be quite helpful in insuring a long and successful career for Mr. McCarthy.

Jim Fallgatter

Story First Published: 2013-08-14