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James E. Clyburn
James E. ClyburnDemocrat, SCCurrent Position:Congressmansince January 01, 1993
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Political Article

Fact-Based Article
What Happened To Praising Our Leaders?

As someone who was born and has lived in America for more than 50 years, I am disheartened by what has happened to politics in America. Specifically, we have gone from praising to belittling our leaders, and from learning to disregarding our media.

We Used To Praise Our Leaders And Our Media

As a child growing up in New York, I remember having ABC, CBS, and NBC, and a local channel as our only TV channels. And when the country had elections, the TV coverage typically spoke in glowing terms of the individuals nominated for the President, Secretary of State, and other positions.

As a college student, I remember seeing an exhibit in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC that contained a plaque about Truman, Eisenhower, and our great leaders from that time. To this day, I remember a quote from the President who, when asked about why he wanted to be President – and not just go home to his family - after spending years fighting the war, responded “…because my country needs me.”

Today, it seems that nearly everything is political, and you are loved or hated by whether you have an R or a D after your name, and the majority of our politicians seem to place their party in front of our country. And it is even worse with the media.

While “fake news” has become the current term describing the current status of many stories coming from our media, many argue that the mainstream media has moved from reporting to opining to outright choosing sides, with propaganda being a lot closer than I ever thought would happen to America.

Actors And Entertainers Used To Act, And Not Act Out

Anyone my age remembers the late Johnny Carson with fondness, but can they tell you about his political leanings? No. The same cannot be said of Colbert, Streep, etc.

Do we care about your opinion? Maybe. But do we need to hear it everywhere? Absolutely not, and most would agree that their politics should be kept out of our entertainment.

Politicians Don’t Think We Have Video?

I am personally disgusted by all the outright lies by politicians, many of whom change their position as often as they change their underwear. It has become a daily occurrence to see a politician in front of microphones emphatically stating X, then watching a video on TV that night of that same politician stating the exact opposite a week, a month, or a year earlier. And they wonder why Congress has an approval rating of 10%? Or why Trump won?

Politicians were elected to help govern our country, not to complain and act like children holding their breath when they don’t get their way, or downright obstructing progress. Case in point, Dr. Ben Carson, a world-famous neurosurgeon and all-around nice guy, had to wait six weeks to get confirmed as the HUD Secretary. Seriously?

Bottom line, our country is on the border of becoming a third-world country. We need to act now while this is still America.

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