218 -‘Words? Better yet, action.”

By Hetty Gray

# 218

August 5, 2015

“Words? Better yet, action.”

Forty-eight hours remain until a stable of potential candidates take the stage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Would that their answers equal the memorable lyrics of the music so enshrined in that building.

Yes, song lyrics… Maybe that is a stretch for some of you, but take a moment to think about the overall morality and unusually apt messages of the songs we remember from the 50s and 60s. Oh, there were anomalies with car wrecks and tragedies, but most of the songs were seminal in their wisdom.

For example, review the lyrics of 1968’s “Get a Job!” by The Silhouettes. Today’s version might be “Create a Job!” We have the lowest participation rate in the national workforce in decades. True, more and more of us are slipping into the retirement years, but what of the college graduates and even the high school graduates who cannot find work?

We can lay part of the blame on governmental demands, and most small employers will tell you that health care costs cut deeply into their bottom line and deter them from expanding their employee numbers.

Getting back to the music, consider “The Great Pretender” (1955). Let’s hope that the men behind the podia actually answer with meaty answers instead of spewing “acceptable” rhetoric to avoid being caught up in a mainstream media firestorm.

I doubt if Mr. Trump has any such fear. Not long ago, most of us thought that straight talk had disappeared from the political scene. And then came Donald Trump…. Yes, “The Donald” who stepped away from working in his father’s successful business and launched into his own. He hasn’t done badly, has he? He did not succeed by making milk toast decisions or giving lukewarm answers to either his associates or his competitors. The “Great Pretender”? Not Trump….
And then there’s the 1958 hit “Yakety Yak” by The Coasters. There are few of us that have — at one time or another — thought that political spiels were nothing more than Yakety Yak and uttered as simple sound bites. No substance….

The Miracles brought us “Shop Around” in 1960. Isn’t that what this whole event Thursday night is about? Viewers need to assess the abilities and depth of each of these men. Like the lyrics suggest, Mama told her not to settle on the first man who came along. Instead, she should take care to shop around. So should primary voters.

The year 1965 gave us Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sounds of Silence”, but — so far — that does not apply to a number of these men. Consider, for instance Governor Mike Huckabee’s comment on Obama and Israel. While shocking to some, it was pointed and clear. Abandoning Israel and agreeing to allow Iran to be a nuclear power is tantamount to launching a new Holocaust. It’s ironic that mainstream media have no problem in assigning ugly terms to conservatives, and — more specifically — Christians. And where is the reaction to Christian beheadings overseas? Just as the administration cannot label Muslim Terrorists, neither can it identify those beheaded as Christians. How sad….

Even sadder is that the song title does apply to President Obama in 2009 when the young people of Iran begged for support. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the fallout of that inaction. Fallout? Sorry, apt choice, but perhaps a poor choice of words there…

1968: Tommy James and The Shondells offers another great title, “Mony, Mony.” While the spelling is wrong, the meat of the words could not be better. If there is one thing that we all worry about, it’s money. Businesses need to keep more in order to hire more. Workers need it for existence. Government needs to bring it in huge amounts. However, it needs to adopt a fair tax that applies to all. Yes, good old money. In short, money makes this nation hum. No lyrics needed for that tune.

If you doubt that, take a look at Greece. My, isn’t it the model of success for socialist policies? But, I digress. Back to the music….

1969 brings two titles to conclude this column.

First, consider Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused.” What better adjectives to describe the middle class across the nation, and — more specifically — the inner city families who hoped that the first black president would bring help to their neighborhoods? Nothing like that happened, and crime rates have continued to skyrocket in the inner cities around the country.

The Beatles close this column with what should be the goal of the next man to bring his acumen and determination into the Oval Office, “Come Together.”

At over seventy, I remember clearly every president back to Eisenhower. I have never seen or heard more divisive statements than those uttered by our current president over his terms in office.

We, as Americans, deserve better than this. We deserve a return to true representative government. We deserve a president committed to ridding us of mammoth federal debt, gutting waste in every government agency, dismantling the Department of Education, and returning lawmaking to the congress instead of ignoring its implementation by the judicial branch.

Lest the ground shake above the graves of each and every Founding Father, Americans need to demand a return to the government they envisioned and one that Benjamin Franklin, in particular, feared would not last. Recall his comment when a woman asked if the US constituted a democracy. His reply, “A republic, madam, if you can keep it.”

Can we restore it? Can we keep it? Pray that we can. Heed carefully the words of those who step up to the podia on Thursday night. The venue could not be more apt. “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”? You bet! We need to rock the political establishment and roll forward to a better future.

Think about it.

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