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Finneran: America’s Glue

Friday, August 24, 2018


Tom Finneran

Social cohesion. Gone.

Civic cohesion. Gone.

Political cohesion. Gone.

Catholic Church hierarchy’s credibility. Gone

Political parties’ credibility. Gone.

Mainstream media’s credibility. Gone.

Is America coming apart at the seams? It certainly seems so…………….

Yet evidence—both historical and contemporary—suggests that any expectation of America’s demise is premature if not entirely far-fetched.

Alexis deTocqueville’s observations still hold true that there is a unique strain within our DNA of self-sufficiency and community commitment.

I know of no normal person who thinks that the ways of Washington D.C. reflect the nation’s true character. Yes, there are smart, nice, honorable men and women in public service. I know many of them and I admire their work. They are however, if not outnumbered, frequently sabotaged by the purity police.

These politically correct centurions of the left and right are bullies and they demand a bully’s obedience.

Count me among the frustrated by the rancid partisanship which seems utterly determined to kill any proposals which might result in needed improvements to the nation’s most pressing problems.

Current immigration law and practice is a national disgrace and everyone knows it. America’s education system is a frightening Achilles heel and everyone knows it. Our transportation infrastructure is more noted for Third World characteristics than for modernity and efficiency and everyone knows it. The nation’s staggering debt has exploded during the last three Administrations and everyone knows it. Several entitlement crises loom just over the horizon and everyone knows it.

Is it not possible for reasonable people to begin the process of making progress on these and other issues? Can they not exit the sandbox and find satisfactory common ground between the forty-yard lines of political opinion? Someone must begin to tell the party chieftains and the purity police to drop dead.

Call in the Little League. Call in the Girl Scouts. Call in the Boy Scouts. Call in the Salvation Army. Call in the military reservists and their families. These are the organizations that provide the glue which keeps America standing. They thrive on common sense and common sacrifice. They adjust, they adapt, and they compromise, all the while adhering to the vision and principles of their particular cause.

Small town America certainly does its part. Urban America also pulls its weight. These are the mature adults and parents in every zip code who want to make and keep America great without regard to political party. They are there for their children and for their community. They build the nation’s future.

They volunteer. They serve. They coach. They protect. They lead by example.

Many of them work two jobs. Their spouses do too. Yet, somehow, they find time to arrange practices, to run charity events, to look out for their neighbor, and to encourage kids in positive ways. Their example stands in stark contrast to the squalid and selfish ways of Washington.

In Washington it seems that a “my way or the highway” attitude which prevails, at the expense of the nation’s future. In the Little League it’s a “we’re all in this together” attitude.

Call in the Little League. They are the future. They are the glue.

Tom Finneran is the former Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, served as the head the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, and was a longstanding radio voice in Boston radio.


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