Back in 1974 the Watergate Scandal dominated the local and national newscasts. It was inescapable. A genuine Constitutional crisis the likes our nation had, to date, not seen was unfolding before our very eyes. A cancer on the presidency was growing.
The scandal led to the resignation of the sitting President, Richard M. Nixon.
I'm sure many of you know, but maybe some don't -- it was not the Democratic Party which was responsible for Nixon's stepping down. Nixon, encouraged by many, wanted to have the impeachment and Senate trial. But it was Barry Goldwater, the founder of the modern conservative movement, who had the courage to tell the President -- Enough!
Back in 2006, I was the republican party's nominee for Congress in my district. I was given little chance of winning, I didn't, but I gave it my all. I gave so much, that the negative after-effects echo to this day.
I will never forget the campaign. It was tough, grueling and yet, invigorating. I had belief that I could do something for a country which I so much loved. A country in which I had previously given five years of service in the United States Navy.
Out of many memorable moments, there is one that really stands out. I was being interviewed by the local newspaper editorial boards. During my interview with the Times Leader, the publisher Rich Connor, asked me about the Mark Foley Scandal. Foley was a republican congressman from Florida. At the time many republicans in Congress were silent, some even supportive of Foley.
As I pondered Connor's question, I knew that if I said something derogatory, it might erode what support I had from the republican party. But, I just couldn't sit there and lie. I gave the answer which first came to mind. "I'm glad I won't be going to D.C. to be a chiropractor, because there aren't any spines to work on." That line got a chuckle, but I was not joking. I sat stone-faced at the large conference table, and simply reiterated my statement.
As our nation, and the world, is gripped in the hold of a yet not understood pandemic. It would be kind to say that leadership from the top is lacking. It would be kind to say that this is not the first area in which leadership has been lacking. And now, if the latest of another in a string of seemingly self-interest, selfish, and unimaginably horrific stories is proven to be true, what may in fact be worse than the lacking leadership of the current occupant of the oval office, is the tacit approval given to this lacking leadership from those who could help our fellow citizens. Those with the experience, power, and ability to do something -- do nothing. The fear of a despicable tirade of tweets has them either sit silent and idle, or worse, shout support and approval.
Now, more than ever, we need, if not completely competent, at the very least, compassionate leadership -- we have neither.
Sadly, it would seem all these years later, my statement about a lack of spines in D.C. still holds true.