Dying to Play

Members of Congress took to the field this past Thursday to play in the annual Congressional baseball game.  The traditional game began in 1909 as a friendly match of Democrats against Republicans on the baseball diamond.  It is a charitable event with proceeds going to three Washington charities.  The series has been pretty even over the years but this year the Democrats won 21-5.  This year’s game took place exactly one year after a gunman opened fire on the Republican team during practice.  According to witnesses the shooter asked if the players on the field were Democrats or Republicans.  When he was informed that they were Republicans, he went to his car, returned with a high-powered rifle and began shooting.  After discharging some fifty rounds of ammunition he was neutralized by D.C. police.  Louisiana Representative Steve Scalise was mortally wounded and would have died if not for the actions of numerous people present at the scene.  As Majority Whip, Scalise had a security detail and it was those two officers who took down the gunman before inflicting additional casualties.  The shooter was an unstable Bernie Sanders supporter who had actually worked for the Sanders campaign.  Of course Bernie Sanders never encouraged such acts and he had no personal connection to the individual.  Had the shooter been a Donald Trump supporter (with Democrats as targets) heads would have exploded in the media.  They likely would have proclaimed Trump to be a White Supremacist and that he inspired the shooter.  The story would have run 24 hours a day for weeks and would still be in the headlines today.  The anti-Trump media bias is blatant and it is creating a divided America.  Like many of the top FBI agents, the media portrays Trump supporter as dumb and crude.  Such attitudes are alienating and dividing the country.

This annual event is supposed to be a charitable event in which Congressional members can meet for some amiable competition.  Much of the public views Congress as a bunch of children who accomplish little and argue constantly.  I seldom hear a member of one party give a compliment to a member of the opposing party.  Instead of representing the best interests of the nation, it appears Congressional members are only interested in “camera time” and scoring points against the other party.  Compromise died with Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich.  Today’s members pride themselves for “standing their ground” and belittling their opponents.  Witness President Trump’s approach to Kim Jong Un where Trump is allowing Kim to retain self-esteem among his people.  Saving face in Asian cultures is even more critical than in Western ones.  I am deeply concerned that the media and members of Congress are creating an “us vs them” mentality that will further divide us.  Whether you agree with the President or not, he is one person.  If we remain united nothing can harm us.  I pray something awakens us before it’s too late.

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