Observations

J.R.’s written observations on politics, public policy, and society.

President Trump Acquitted

Now that 80+ days of actual impeachment proceedings (not to mention the nearly three years of calling for it) have finally proven fruitless, is it now time for the American people to move on — or at least reflect on the good things that are happening in our country?

Last evening, the president laid out the achievements that all Americans can be proud of in his State of the Union address. Things like record employment, a strong economy, trade agreements, national security, and more.

Tonight, with the acquittal, it is pretty safe to say that we can return to a sense of normalcy — or at least as normal as a presidential election year can be.

Here is the official line from The White House:

Today, the sham impeachment attempt concocted by Democrats ended in the full vindication and exoneration of President Donald J. Trump. As we have said all along, he is not guilty. The Senate voted to reject the baseless articles of impeachment, and only the President’s political opponents – all Democrats, and one failed Republican presidential candidate – voted for the manufactured impeachment articles.
 
In what has now become a consistent tradition for Democrats, this was yet another witch-hunt that deprived the President of his due process rights and was based on a series of lies.  Rep. Adam Schiff lied to Congress and the American people with a totally made up statement about the President’s phone call.  Will there be no retribution?  Speaker Nancy Pelosi also lied to the American people about the need to swiftly pass impeachment articles they dreamt up, only to sit on them for a month before sending over to the Senate.  In the Senate, the Democrats continued to make their political motivations clear – Rep. Schiff proclaimed the issues “cannot be decided at the ballot box” – proving once again they think they know better than the voters of this country.  This entire effort by the Democrats was aimed at overturning the results of the 2016 election and interfering with the 2020 election. 
 
Throughout this wholly corrupt process, President Trump successfully advanced the interests of the United States and remained focused on the issues that matter to Americans.  He spent his time achieving real victories for the people of this country, and the Democrats – once again – have nothing to show for their fraudulent schemes. The President is pleased to put this latest chapter of shameful behavior by the Democrats in the past, and looks forward to continuing his work on behalf of the American people in 2020 and beyond.

Are we now ready to move on? And, for what it’s worth, both Tim Kaine and Mark Warner voted for both articles of impeachment. Makes you proud to be a Virginian, eh?

Luria gets baited; uses profanity to raise money

Virginia 2nd District Congresswoman goes after Trump’s tweets

Power down for a bit

For a more sane America, take a break from your devices and your echo-chamber.

Special Session Not So Special – Or Necessary

It should be obvious what the nature of any “special” session is. It is not routine. It is extraordinary and necessary.

Balancing safety and liberty

Laws are meant to act as a curb on bad behavior and expand freedom for the many, not the few.

Why did Northam and Herring vote for plan they now oppose?

If Virginia’s 2011 House of Delegates’ district lines are considered to be racial gerrymandering,don’t forget Mark Herring and Ralph Northam voted for them.

In the wake of the mass shooting in Virginia Beach, seeking answers to evil

Some might believe the killer was driven to act or blame the incident on firearms, but evil caused the deaths of so many innocent in Virginia Beach. Yet, there was light.

Loyalty

It doesn’t happen often, but occasionally the publisher assigns a topic.

Given that this past weekend was Armed Services Weekend and we’re leading up to Memorial Day, John asked those of us with a military background what we “took from our service for the rest of our days.”

That, in and of itself, is a fairly straightforward question.

The correct answer, if there is such a thing, is what you expect: I learned planning, discipline, respect, punctuality, hard work, teamwork, sacrifice, courage, honor, integrity and so much more.

However, I do not think John was really looking for the transformative qualities that were instilled into me over the course of ten weeks in the hot Orlando sun in 1992, which eventually gave way to the same sun beating down on me in the Persian Gulf during at-sea replenishments a decade later, or the white-hot light of a video camera glaring at me throughout my career as a public affairs officer.

No, if I know the publisher, he wants me to dig a bit deeper.

The reality is that what will always stay with me from my military service is loyalty.

Whether it’s the camaraderie I still have with shipmates who I served with long ago or my commitment to writing this column for John and you, being known as loyal is incredibly important to me. This is not a blind loyalty or loyalty that ignores problems and concerns. If anything, it’s that sense of loyalty and desire to improve organizations, groups, states, nations, cities, etc. that makes what I learned from the military so special.

Truly high-performing units in the military understand this cohesion and the productivity that comes not from mutiny or disobedience, but from skilled and sometimes courageous advice from everyone who is part of the team. It is a loyalty to ensuring that your team achieves the mission efficiently, utilizing the unique skills of all involved. Working on solving the problem together.

Loyalty is also the embodiment of the golden rule. It is the concept of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. Loyalty, as a form of love, is mutual to all involved. In other words, loyalty is not a one-way street.

Loyal organizations and people are found everywhere throughout the military. There are, of course, exceptions, but I have been blessed to serve and work with exceptional people who put others ahead of themselves. They were tremendous human beings. They had your back, stood up for others, supported the team, did what was necessary to get the job done and were present through thick and thin.

The opposite of loyalty, of course, is betrayal. There’s a reason this act hurts so much and is met with such a strong response. When someone breaks trust and confidence, it is the worst sort of pain. We instinctively understand betrayal, which should help us understand loyalty.

I like to think of myself as loyal, and I attempt to practice it in everything I do. I also think most of us are instinctively loyal, but it was the military that made me aware of the behavior.

Knowing what loyalty is and conscientiously applying it to my everyday actions has truly added more value and meaning to my life.


This column was written for The Princess Anne Independent News.

“The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still, His kingdom is forever”

The evil is Sri Lanka is just another example of futility. You cannot defeat an Easter people.