Dr. Bill Atwood

Time to grow up

Years ago I had a caring parent bring her young son into my office to discuss how he was behaving at home and at school. As his principal at Mariposa Middle School I had never had a negative encounter with the young lad but his mother was very concerned.

She rattled off a number of behaviors she was witnessing when he was with his friends as well as when he was alone at home. She asked me for my opinion. She told me she just wanted him to, “act his age.” She told me he acted like a 12-year-old. I asked him how old he was and he stated he was 12 years of age.

Once she heard that his behavior was fairly normal for a 12-year-old boy she felt a little better. He would be around 23 now, but if he is a normal guy his mother and his wife probably think that he still acts like a 12-year-old. I am sure he hears the term, “Oh grow up,” from time to time.

We need to tell our elected leaders as well as the appointed leaders of this country to grow up and act like adults. The antics that have been playing out in Washington the past few decades seem to be getting worse which I did not think was possible.

I just wish that the concept of leading and doing the business of the people was more important to the people in our nation’s capital than the political gamesmanship they seem to enjoy. Nothing can get done when each side is involved in “gotcha politics.” Woe be unto anyone who happens to misspeak a term or phrase.

We have all uttered a word, statement, phrase, joke, story, comment or barb that we would like to take back. Fortunately for us we are not on videotape so it is not archived somewhere with somebody waiting to pounce on us for a 30-year-old, out of context, action to come back to haunt us.

Our friends and family take us for the entirety of our being so if we happen to stumble they shrug it off and understand that one comment or phrase doesn’t define us.

A person wanting to brand Jeff Sessions as a racist because of something that happened 30 years ago, in spite of everything he has done for the past 30 years that promotes racial harmony, is absurd.

It would be equally absurd to state that Jesse Jackson must be a bigot because about the same time Sessions was uttering his comment Reverend Jesse was using the phrase, “Hymie town” to discuss the Jewish community in the New York area. While I am not a fan of Jesse Jackson his work and life shouldn’t be judged entirely on a slip of the tongue.

The president sounded presidential during his Feb. 28 address to the joint session of Congress. So much so that his vocal critics on CNN were praising him. He needs to stick to reading his speeches and stop the off the cuff remarks and statistics. There are too many fact checkers so he needs to be more accurate.

Queen Nancy needs to lighten up as well. References to impeachment within two months incite division rather than unity. Her citation about scapegoat and then her condescending explanation of what a scapegoat is was insulting and unproductive. The internet item she referenced proved to be a fake. No retraction from Nancy.

Chuck Schumer is a smart guy who seems to hide that fact lately. His obstructionist actions do nothing but delay the problem solving that we the people should be able to get from Washington.

Rand Paul running around with a camera crew and photocopy machine made for interesting television but why didn’t he stop the antics, roll up his sleeves and offer to help draft the legislation with an attitude of compromise.

In politics it is rare that anyone gets exactly what they want in any piece of legislation so the art of compromise must be employed. Cooperation is the key.

We need to get on the phones and call the offices of our Senators, Congressman, and the White House and tell them to grow up.

This nation needs to address health care, immigration, military preparedness, environmental issues, energy concerns, taxation and welfare programs. Those seven and a few other major concerns can be addressed by the greatest country on the planet when people get to the task of working together rather than wasting time playing games.

They need to grow up.