Northern New York Newspapers
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NNY Living
Sun., Aug. 30
Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
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It will take time to change government policy


Never in my life has there seemed to be such a disparity of logic between the people and the government than during this election. Commentators insist it takes time to accomplish anything in the dinosaur plodding of governments, yet people keep insisting on instant gratification — 3-year-olds throwing a tantrum when they don’t get what they want — immediately.

A first-time candidate for president is inexperienced in the realities to be faced. Only when he has experienced the mill of government, often with an opposing congressional majority fighting tooth and nail, does he finally become aware of his shrinking ability to change things. Our difficulties have built from the 1929 fiscal disaster — 83 years. Many are too young to remember it.

A miracle was required then, as now, to right this country in even eight years. To believe less time is required is like believing in the possibility of stopping a loaded tractor-trailer going 80 mph on a dime. Just as it takes time to stop that vehicle, so it is going to take time and wise (often unpopular) governmental action to make changes in government policy when it is moving “80 mph” toward disaster.

Even once the juggernaut is stopped, it will take a long time for people to learn to live differently and thus bring this country back to solid footing, just as it does a rebellious child to learn to be acceptable.

Desperation causes loss of perspective. Having lived a long time, I know that to avoid further mistakes, one must allow for a time of chaotic adjustment for things to grind to a halt before expecting complete recovery. In the presidency as in personal life, the natural law of recovery applies. If rushed, the outcome is likely to be another chaotic episode.

Thinking before acting is for everyone — the single person upward in numbers to government. Until people stop yelling about what they are not getting and begin to think about what the future will bring and then act accordingly, the government will be simply a reactionary reflection of millions of undisciplined people. Our job is to become the example for and support the government we want. It is already time to think what we need for the future of our country another 83 years down the road and take action on it in the pattern of our own lives.

Gael Steele


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