President's Message: On Fools and Freedom

Jul 29, 2016

There’s a pretty famous quote, no doubt you’ve heard or read it in many places, which goes something like this: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” Politicians running for office in both parties dish out some pretty distasteful rhetoric. So often in fact we have “Pinocchio Scores” for their tall tales. Unfortunately, we’ve grown pretty used to this rhetoric as a reality of political campaigns, but in the past few days, it would seem decorum and tact have simply disappeared.

We’ve had a sitting Supreme Court Justice candidly criticize the presumptive Republican nominee. And we had a sitting President suggest that kids have greater access to Glock pistols than they do books. Both of these situations are preposterous. And troubling.

Using the occasion of a memorial service for slain Dallas police officers to make political hyperbole is disrespectful. The leader of the most powerful nation in the world should know better. Apparently the President isn’t familiar with the fact you need to be a legal adult to own a handgun. It was the wrong place and the wrong information. Hasn’t he heard two wrongs don’t make a right?

Our courts, particularly the Supreme Court, represent the epitome of fairness, the last bastion of justice free of political influence. But when a current Justice boldly declares that a Trump presidency would be bad for the country, then subsequently infers in a media interview that Hillary Clinton will in fact win and will have the opportunity to nominate as many as three Justices, it should give us all pause. Has impartiality and fairness evaporated?

The American people don’t know what to think anymore. In recent polling by the Winston Group, a prominent national pollster, 69% of Americans say our political discourse is troubling, 60% of Americans feel we are on the wrong track and a full 61% of Americans believe our next generation will be worse off than the current one. Even more scary, 79% of those surveyed say their voice isn’t being heard by those they elected. Congressional approval ratings are 15 points lower than they were just 10 years ago, with just a 12% approval rating. We’ve got to fix this. We’ve got to turn it around, folks. This country remains THE BEST place on earth in which to live and raise our families. It deserves our protection and involvement. Call your friends, call your neighbors… heck, call your enemies. Get everyone involved. It’s time, as Americans, to come together and take it all back.

We may doubt our ability to do much, but “we the people” made this nation great. And we the people have the power to stop the fools in their tracks.

Until next time,

Kenyon Gleason 
President, NASGW

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