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The Best Of Times

 

These clearly are not the best of times. But if there is a brighter side, it has to be that so far at least, these also aren’t the worst of times either. As of this writing, we aren’t at war ... not against nations and people at any rate. The enemy of the moment is a virus ... a virus that people named “Coronavirus.” It came out of China and is making its way around most of the Earth. You can’t see it with the naked eye, but it’s a killer. If you don’t believe that, you aren’t reading the daily newspapers or tuning in on the evening news.

One of the consequences of coronavirus is that the kids are all at home when they ought to be in school. It’s not their fault, you know. It’s really not anybody’s fault. By now, most of the children are probably growing tired of this as their parents are. They’re ready to jump on the school bus, cram into mom or dad’s car, pull out their bicycles or even walk to get back to the old schoolhouse again. This has gone on long enough. Let’s end it!

Thing is, we can’t do that. Neither can our kids. It’s not up to them and it’s not up to us. It’s not even up to Congress. Their members are in Washington spending money we don’t have but there’s nothing at all new about that. It’s been going on approximately since FDR was first elected in 1932. In 12 short years, everybody will be able to acknowledge the centennial of that election and if they’re truthful ... which politicians scarcely completely are ... both parties will celebrate. The difference is the Democrats will surely hold their shindig in the open. As for the Republicans, lots of them like the dark of night anyway.

After all that, there might be readers who believe we’re about to burn Washington like nobody’s business. Us? Surely not! While we don’t agree with everything in what is now “new law,” we believe for once Congress has given the people an effective and fair way to deal with the economic problems which are likely to emerge as a result of the viral attack. The concept of running the money through those who were or may have been economically damaged as a result of all this falls in the excellent range, especially for Congress.

Yes, this bill is expensive. The price tag on the coronavirus emergency relief bill came to $2.2 trillion dollars and no matter how anyone wants to cut that, it still ain’t hay. As The Washington Post explained, this bill is “aimed at limiting the financial trauma that the coronavirus pandemic is inflicting on the United States.” We believe it will be successful because it is aimed at assisting individuals, families and corporations who are likely to be hurt the most by the predictable harm that is being spread by this new and deadly illness. While this is another example of government spending money it doesn’t have, it is also an investment not only in fairness but also in future growth. It is the right thing to do.

The road to getting that done was rather short but not without great controversy. For a while, Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, was reported to be holding back a bucketful of leftish Democratic dreams in wait of the best time to dump them ... possibly over President Trump’s head if she could accomplish that. Only four months or so ago, you may recall, Speaker Pelosi was doing her utmost to drive the president out of the White House through the most damaging method of them all — impeachment. As everyone else in Washington knew, that approach was highly unlikely to succeed to work, largely because the Republicans control the Senate and the Constitution (and yes, there are still people in government who have read it) says it takes a two-thirds vote of the Senate to convict a sitting president. That all turned out to be one of the ugliest and meanest chapters in presidential history. Chalk up one for Mr. Trump and nothing at all for Ms. Pelosi.

Nevertheless, the legislation was approved last week by a unanimous vote in the Senate and a voice vote in the House (you can’t count that especially when most members are back home ... or somewhere else other than Washington). This is a strong bill on a strong subject. The country is beginning to realize how deadly this disease is. For the first time in a century this kind of pandemic threatens our county, our continent, our people, our children, our homes. This bill won’t directly halt the deadly sickness. Only dedicated doctors with good nurses and staffers can do that. But it will open the way for those who may have been pushed off this road to success. They will get up, brush themselves off, try again and make it work. That’s one of the things America is all about.

And on another day, hopefully not too far in the future, one of those who may soon be brushing their own clothes will do something even better for this country and this world ... and that’s the American spirit at its finest.

Good work, Congress. Give us more like that. We’re Americans. We believe the best of times is ahead of us all.

 

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