Who could have ever imagined that our lives would so dramatically change by a virus that just a few months ago was dismissed by our leaders as a minor problem that really would not affect our lives that much? A little social distancing and we will all be back to normal in no time. How wrong they were.
I turned 80 years old this month. It seemed like my life had peaked, but I was ready for the long and relaxing ride back down. I looked forward to enjoying my later years and be on this side of troubled waters. But now, I’m not so sure.
Most of us are aware that our democracy is not the perfect form of government. But we still believe that few other countries come close to our freedoms, benefits, and opportunities. Our country is special, and we take pride in being prepared for whatever difficulties we face. America cannot and should not have to rely on any other country for help in the time of a major crisis. Churchill said it well back in 1934.
“We cannot afford to confide the safety of our country
To the passions or the panic of any foreign nation which may
Be facing some desperate crisis. We must be independent.
We must be free. We must preserve our full latitude and
Discretion of choice.”
I don’t think the blame game helps, but the fact remains that our country needs better preparation for future epidemics. But it often comes down to tax dollars. Current financial needs often are given priority over long-range planning for future catastrophes. I made the same arguments for a major federal response to a Katrina-like catastrophe when I proposed and testified in Congress for the immediate need of a National Disaster Relief program back in 1995. A similar proposal was part of my detailed Brown Papers where I outlined such a need in my race for governor back in 1987. Such suggestions were put on the back burner and never revived.
And what about all these food pantry lines? Millions of people across the country wait for hours to get a box of canned goods. Yet while so many Americans go hungry, farmers are plowing up ripe fruits and vegetables, and milk is being dumped in waste pits. There are congressional proposals for a major distribution program through the Department of Agriculture.
Why not eliminate all the bureaucracy, help our grocery stores, and just enlarge the food stamp program that is built around a private business structure already set up to distribute food? Let those in need just go to their local grocery stores. Why not let those who qualify and need food use SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) to buy groceries even online if necessary. Why abandon a workable program that makes use of the private sector?
This current pandemic is not going away soon. I know that many people are fed up with what they feel are draconian stay-at-home restrictions. But we are being naive if there is a feeling that life will return to the old normal in the not too distant future. There could well be a second wave of the virus, and a vaccine is most likely many months away.
We need to balance such caution with the realization that our economy is stuck in an induced coma, and needs to rebound so people can get back to work. And our kids need an education. Finding the right balance is the single biggest challenge facing our political leaders in Washington.
There’s a new normal yet to be determined. Many folks might not like it, but guess what? The coronavirus doesn’t give a darn. We are just going to have to face this fact.
Peace and Justice
Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears in numerous newspapers throughout the state and on websites worldwide. You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.
With the coronavirus spreading across the nation, all Americans are feeling vulnerable and nervous about the future. Incredible steps have been taken to shut down interaction among people and slow the spread of the killer disease. Hopefully, these measures will be successful, and life will soon return to normal in the country.
In the meantime, the crisis will get worse before it eventually gets better. One place that is being particularly hard hit is Louisiana. Our state is facing a crisis like nothing it has ever experienced. We are used to dealing with hurricanes and natural disasters, but this crisis is multi-faceted and will be long-lasting.
It may have been a good idea when it was implemented in 1918; however, over one century later, it is time to end the craziness of changing the time every few months.
On Sunday morning, Americans will need to adjust to the reality of losing an hour of sleep because we will “spring forward” one hour and move back to Daylight Saving Time.
In November, it will be time to “fall back” an hour to Standard Time. All this clock changing leads to increased accidents, a higher incidence of heart attacks, a loss of productivity and a needless confusion for the American people.
What a profound difference makes six years!
Back in February 2014, Louisiana was embroiled in a hotly-contested free-for-all for the U.S. Senate position. Retired, and unknown Air Force Colonel Rob Maness had just announced his candidacy to oust Senator Mary Landrieu, the powerful senior Democrat US Senator. Landrieu, generally had been hailed as the hero from the Hurricane Katrina wars fighting the emotional unending battles to save South Louisiana and New Orleans. However, Landrieu faced one major obstacle--President Barack Obama who down in these parts was less popular than the BP Oil Spill (if that were possible).
Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent over the past year pumped into two small states, Iowa and New Hampshire respectively as they formally opened up the presidential election season. Ever since the first Democratic candidate entered the field, the number of competitors for president has winnowed down to a handful. Left standing are those men and women who hope to have the momentum and the staying power to become the Democratic nominee chosen at this summer's convention owning the right to go up against current White House occupant, Donald Trump.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has had a very fortunate political career. In 2015, he was elected because many Republicans refused to support his GOP opponent, then U.S. Senator David Vitter. Last November, his narrow victory occurred because a significant number of Republican voters abandoned the GOP candidate, businessman Eddie Rispone, to support his re-election.
This week, he scored another victory as his preferred candidate for House Speaker, Representative Clay Schexnayder (R-Gonzales) was elected by a Republican-controlled legislature. Schexnayder defeated a more conservative opponent, Representative Sherman Mack (R-Albany) by a healthy 60-45 margin.
He has worn plenty of hats. He's a former Louisiana State Senator, Secretary of State, Insurance Commissioner,. He ran for Louisiana governor and along with Edwin Edwards, Billy Tauzin, Bob Livingston and others who all were beaten by a little-known Congressman, Buddy Roemer. He is an attorney, columnist, publisher, husband, father and grandfather. He's also a story-teller.
This year, it was a perfect opportunity for Louisiana Republicans to defeat a vulnerable Democratic Governor, the only one in the Deep South. Unfortunately, once again, the GOP lost a race it surely should have won.
It must be nice to be John Bel Edwards. On Saturday, he was re-elected to a second term with 51% of the vote even though Louisiana is a conservative “red” state. Other than Edwards, all statewide elected officials in Louisiana are Republicans. In 2016, Louisiana voters supported Donald Trump in the presidential election by a 58-38% margin over the Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton.
The Louisiana elections are now history. Governor John Bel Edwards bested businessman Eddie Rispone and indirectly President Donald Trump who campaigned heavily for the Republican candidate.
The day after the election political analyst and pollster John Couvillon of JMC Analytics and Polling published the following:
As both the decade and the 2019 election cycle comes to a close, JMC would like to analyze the results through the prism of the December 2002 runoff that saw Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu re-elected, as there are similarities between that race and Governor John Bel Edwards’ successful re-election race (that comparison was also made in this prior article).
Are you serious?
That’s how I felt when I saw Donald Trump’s commercial as he screamed to his rally crowd that Louisiana must reject current Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.
Bad enough that Louisiana Republicans have to import a national figure into the state to tell us whom should be our governor. But if they are going to do so, please bring in someone with real credibility than bringing in a clown who is always tripping over his falsehoods.
It has been thirty years since David Duke won his only election victory, as a State Representative, in Louisiana. He followed that race with losses for U.S. Senate, Governor of Louisiana, U.S. President, U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress and U.S. Senate.
Today, his following is mostly based online and outside of Louisiana and his political standing in Louisiana is non-existent. Nevertheless, liberals continue to resurrect the name of David Duke, former KKK leader, to motivate African American voters in Louisiana to support Democrats.
In the first primary governor’s race here in the Bayou State, incumbent John Bel Edwards looked to be on the verge of a first primary victory. Then at the last minute, the President blew into the state. It made a huge difference, and now Edwards is in the political fight of his life being challenged by political newcomer and Trump ally Eddie Rispone.
According to a Louisiana survey just released Wednesday afternoon, incumbent John Bel Edwards has 50.3% of the vote with Republican political neophyte trailing closely at 46.6 percent with 3.1 percent undecided. In the same poll, 41% of the voters favor impeachment of President Donald Trump while 66 percent oppose. The survey was conducted by former University of New Orleans Professor of Political Science, Ed Chervenak.
Two weeks after the primary election, Louisiana Republicans are feeling more confident that businessman Eddie Rispone can defeat Governor John Bel Edwards in the runoff election on November 16.
While Edwards led Rispone in the primary election by a large margin of 47-27%, the total vote for the three Republican candidates reached 52%. If the Republican voters stay loyal to Rispone, he will win.