Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


November 27, 2012

LION AND THE LAMB: On the front lines

CROSSVILLE — This past election brought a shocking revelation to many people in our country. The power of white males that has been controlling the political life of our nation since its beginning was shown to be in decline. A coalition made up of women, minority, and young voters had won a second term for President Obama.

The outcome was unexpected by many, including Romney who had to cancel the fireworks display in the Boston harbor that he had set up to celebrate his victory. The long-term effort of the birther movement to cast suspicion on Obama's presidential credentials, the continuing effort of the Republican majority in the House of Representatives to block Obama's economic initiatives, and the Tea Party's effort to build grass roots opposition to the powers of the federal government—all of these were not enough to change the outcome.

All three of these efforts, however, and the election itself, have helped fuel a secessionist movement—one that can be found in all fifty states but is strongest in the former Confederate states in the South. Petitions on behalf of secession are now being signed by conservatives and then sent on to the White House. Our Tennessee version states: "We petition the Obama administration to: Peacefully grant the State of Tennessee to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government." One doubts, however, whether this petition will have much of an impact either in Tennessee or in the White House. One suspects that it serves more as a way to show the displeasure of those on the losing side of the election.

A greater challenge to the well-being of our nation will be taking place soon in a number of states. Starting in January, a single party will hold the governor's office and majorities in thirty-seven states, the largest number in sixty years. This single-party control will probably mean more partisan agendas as Democrats try to expand personal liberties and social and economic support systems and Republicans try to restrict them. This will be a challenge especially for our region since Republicans have now gained control of the old Confederate South (except for Arkansas which will be the only such state with a Democratic governor).

Another serious problem confronting us is the right's longtime demonization of the federal government and its role in our national life. Participants in this demonization would prefer that the states be declared "sovereign" and "independent," with the federal government having only very limited powers. They would like, in practice, to go back to the organizing principles of the original Articles of Confederation. Our founding fathers, however, realized quite early in the game that our nation needed a strong central government under the Constitution with power to act on matters of national interest, including efforts to promote the "general welfare." Thus the Tenth Amendment reserved to the states and individuals only powers not granted to the federal government under the Constitution.

During recent decades Democrats have struggled to protect the core programs of the 1930s and 1960s such as Social Security and Medicare. Unfortunately, however, they have made major concessions on issues like Wall Street and corporate regulations, enabling freewheeling casino capitalism to return.

These are some of the issues confronting us as we move into the next four years. As columnist Charles M. Blow has written, "Once again this country finds itself increasingly divided and pondering the future of this great nation and the very ideas of liberty and equality for all. The gap is growing between liberals and conservatives, the rich and the not rich, intergenerational privilege and new immigrant power, patriarchy and gender equality, the expanders of liberty and the withholders of it."

And here in Tennessee, we are on the front lines of this challenge before us. It will be an exciting four years.

Text Only
  • Tidbits: The excitement of election day

    On March 12, 1996, there were 427,183 votes cast in the presidential primary election. Among those votes was mine, the first vote I cast in an election, just two days after my 18th birthday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Raising the minimum wage

    My first job from which FICA was withheld was a minimum wage job, seventy-five cents an hour. And yes, even then no one could live on that little money. However, I was a high schooler living at home where my father provided room and board. The job gave me pocket money to buy gasoline, to take my girlfriend out for movies and burgers, and to buy tickets for baseball games.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Children on the move

    The news this past week has focused on the humanitarian crisis developing on our southern border. Thousands of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seeking to escape from the violence, human trafficking and extreme poverty in their countries have been entering the United States.

    July 15, 2014

  • We the People: Memo to gun rights groups

    The recent incident in California helps us understand why we cannot rely on mental health services alone to solve the problem of gun violence.

    July 15, 2014

  • Tidbits: Make the best of your road trip

    I didn’t care for road trips when I was young. It was so confining to have to sit in the back seat, staring out the window for hour after hour, hayfield after hayfield. And when you’re a kid, time doesn’t pass like it does when you get a little older. Just the trip from Jamestown, TN, to Crossville, roughly 30 miles, felt like an eternity!

    July 14, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Biased climate agenda will cost trillions

    For anyone who has been educated in the history of science and scientific method, this whole issue of “Global Warming” or “Climate Change” is an embarrassing and painful exercise.

    July 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Time for an oil change

    The land of Iraq, earlier known as Mesopotamia, has a long history going back to Neanderthal times some 60,000 years ago. Later, around 10,000 years ago, it became the site for some of the most important developments in human history: the invention of the wheel, planting of cereal crops, the development of cursive script, mathematics, astronomy and agriculture. Today it is recognized as one of the cradles of civilization.

    July 8, 2014

  • We the People: American women, be informed and vote

    Voting for today’s Republican Party and its Tea Party members, means you are voting against more than most realize.  This is especially true for women.

    July 8, 2014

  • TIDBITS: Beat the heat in July and August

    I hope everyone enjoyed the Independence Day weekend, with lots of celebration and fun. We couldn’t have asked for better weather this July 4, or 5 or 6. In fact, it was so nice I was tempted to try and bottle some of that sunshine, low humidity and gentle breeze that greeted me each morning.

    July 7, 2014

  • STUMPTALK: Demand better from government workers

    In a recent congressional hearing we learned that the VA awarded excessive bonuses to nearly all of their doctors and administrators. In a recent column we mentioned that the civil service employment provisions should be revised so that federal employees in the executive branch could be fired if they don’t perform to the satisfaction of the president. The president would then know that he (or she) will be solely responsible for any failures of the administration and would be more likely to demand hiring competent employees and insist on satisfactory performance.

    July 7, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014