Passing The Torch Is Useless If You Extinguish The Flame

This week, the House select committee to investigate the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection coup attempt will meet and have prime-time hearings aired. For some this is a throw back to the Watergate or Iran-Contra Affair hearings being aired. Or as Roger Daltrey sang, “Meet the new boss/Same as the old boss.” And of course, we have indeed gotten fooled again. But hopefully, we can stop it this time.

Call it ageism if you’re like, but most of our elected leaders should be in Arizona or southern Florida enjoying their golden years, not hanging around Washington, D.C. making legislation. The fact that Roe v. Wade will probably be overturned this summer proves that people want things to go back to a different era. A week from today is the 55th anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia case that made interracial marraige legal in all states.

June is also pride month for members of the LGBTQIA community and we’re only seven years away from the U.S. Supreme Court making same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. But there are people pushing back. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Indiana) wants the issue of interracial marriage to go back to the states. And I’m sure repealing same-sex marriage itself is also on the minds of many conservative legislators.

At the same time, as mass shootings are a daily occurence, with two happening within a week within a 100-miles in Tulsa and the rural community of Taft, Okla., legislators are still wanting to uphold what “our founding fathers intended” when it comes to the Second Amendment to meet their own agenda. So, it presents a conundrum where they don’t think any laws passed in the last 50-60 years to stay on the record but laws passed 200 years ago should be upheld.

Times change. People change. And thus, things should and must change. But yet, there are those in power who want to change what the majority of the people like and retain what most of the people want to change. And part of this is we are taught from an early age not to make changes to traditions. This is why blended families still struggle around the holidays because one side’s family won’t budge on when to have Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner. You’d think both sides of the family coming together to have one big get-together would be the best thing in theory, but it’s not. People have their ways and they want to continue them, come Hell or high water.

And that’s why so many people were so willing to commit acts of terrorism and treason on Jan. 6, 2021. In their minds, they saw it as something they should do. They didn’t want Joe Biden to be the next President. In their mind, Donald Trump was unfairly beaten, even though more than seven million voters selected Biden. That’s a huge number of people who didn’t want Trump to remain in the White House.

As someone who’s covered elections and sports, this is a popular tactic of screaming that there was fraud or cheating. People have been doing it for decades, so this isn’t anything new. But I think it speaks a wider volume that people can’t realize that others don’t think the same as them. We’re encouraged to keep an open mind but at the same time we ironically tell people that we need to keep doing things to appease others.

For all the people who demanded they get together for big Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners in 2020 with Covid still very dangerous, it seemed they didn’t understand it. If you’ve had a holiday dinner on a certain date at a certain time and even at a certain place for years, if not decades, you should consider yourself fortunate and lucky to have had all those years and memories. A lot of times, people don’t have that luxury.

In the 1990 movie Avalon, an entire family is sitting at tables that stretch in two rooms. You probably have gone to a dinner like this. Everyone is sitting around waiting for older relatives to arrive and the older relatives are always late. They eventually cut the turkey angering the relative when he finally arrives. Some people feel they should’ve waited. Others feel they should’ve already eaten. I’m a firm believer in they should have cut the turkey and saved some for the relatives.

Why? Because they’re always late. Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. This is an issue everyone can relate to. There’s always one relative who has to be the most important one in the room. Uncle Gabe doesn’t care that other people are starving. Or that they’ve all traveled probably farther than he did in their Sunday’s best for a family dinner. Someone always has to be the center of attention and make others feel they are the ones being inconsiderate.

You can watch the scene here:

And that’s why people gravitated toward Trump and still continue to despite what he’s done. It’s all part of that “lead, follow or get out of the way” mentality that we need to stop to infusing in people. Everyone wants to be a leader that we think the others are our followers. If they had changed the dinner time 30 minutes or an hour to accommodate Uncle Gabe, he still wouldn’t have arrived on time. Because he sees himself as the leader.

And that’s why members of Congress are well into their 70s and 80s. At 79, Biden is the oldest President we’ve had. When Ronald Reagan failed to get the Republican nomination in 1976, a lot of pundits commented his political career is over. He was 65 and considered too old to run for a higher office. And while I believe in the saying, “You’re only as old as feel,” I believe Reagan should’ve gone back to California and rode his horses.

Ted Kennedy said something once and I’m paraphrasing here that he was encouraged to run for the U.S. Senate in 1964 when he was only 32 because they wanted “new blood.” He stayed in the position until his death in 2009. When he onced talked of retiring around the unfortunately plane accident that led to death of John F. Kennedy Jr., he considered retiring and was discouraged because the Democrat Party needed “experienced leaders.”

Spending almost 47 years in a political office is dangerous regardless of what your political party or agenda is, because it always changes around you. We want to criticize Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for being to young but praise Madison Cawthorn for bring new blood. It’s really an issue of who can keep voting the way they want and who is going to be different. Republican leaders are evening saying they are against the “progressive agenda.” They’re against progress.

In 2008 when Barack Obama was running for President, “change” was the bad word. Now it’s “progress.” What people really want is to go shopping and not be upset the products are on a different aisle. A lot of people graduated from high school this year and they must graduate gracefully. I’ve seen too many young people still hang around with the high schoolers well into their 20s because they can’t move on. In Dazed and Confused, we liked Matthew McConaughey as Wooderson. But in real life, we didn’t like the Woodersons and they were only used to buy alcohol.

And that’s where it comes a problem for younger people who are still being expected to respect old traditions, so much they still want to sit in the student section after they graduate. Or maybe they shouldn’t even go to the game at all. They need to find their own way to adjust to growing up and doing things differently.

That’s why I hate phrases like, “Well, what would your grandparents think?” when parents try to guilt their kids come out as gay or bisexual or in a relationship with someone of a different skin color or religion. You should love who you want to love and not feel obligated to go into the family business if it’s not something you want. Following in your parents’ footsteps shouldn’t be expected. Yet here lately, we’re not just encouraging people to follow the same path, but telling them they have to go back to the beginning.

That’s why some people think that $7.25 an hour is too high for minimum wage. Or how they continue to tell younger people to print out their resumes and go to every place they can to fill out an application and leave their resume with a manager. Or why they think giving the young boy down the street $5 is enough to cut and trim their yard. That won’t even buy you a gallon of gas for the mower in some states.

Nostaglia is one thing. Remember good times and learning from bad times is part of life. But living in the past is dangerous. Trump made people think they could live in a past that never was and a past he never experienced. My mother grew up during this “great time” without electricity in her home. It didn’t sound too great to me. Maybe if people were used to it, they would have adapted. But people don’t want to adapt.

And that’s why people are pushing back against gay marriage, interracial marraige and even abortion rights. They’re narrow-minded because even though it may not affect them ever, they can’t understand why others wouldn’t think the same. That’s why Baby Boomers and some Gen Xers can’t undertstand why Millennials and Gen Zers aren’t quitting jobs with awful pay and worse benefits. You can’t work yourself up in most places anymore. And most critical people wouldn’t even do these job duties anyway for the pay they receive.

When we pass the torch, we should expect those we hand it off to to run their own paths. Instead we’re now blowing out the frame and tell them they have to find a way to light it while running a harder path than we ran.

What do you think? Please comment.

Published by bobbyzane420

I'm an award winning journalist and photographer who covered dozens of homicides and even interviewed President Jimmy Carter on multiple occasions. A back injury in 2011 and other family medical emergencies sidelined my journalism career. But now, I'm doing my own thing, focusing on movies (one of my favorite topics), current events and politics (another favorite topic) and just anything I feel needs to be posted. Thank you for reading.

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