Holten: Something we’d rather not think about

"In the case of North Dakota Hall of Fame Cowboy, Rex Cook, the word is 'inspiration,'" writes Kevin Holten.

Kevin Holten
Kevin Holten
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Do you know what it takes to make a great football team? Good players.

In professional football, you can have a great playbook, great coaches, and a wealthy owner with an unending amount of cash, but if you don’t have great players, you’ve got nothing.

It’s the same way when it comes to politics and the legitimacy and integrity of your government. America has been the prime example of a solid, winning team. Third world countries are an example of bad teams, and fascist and communist/socialist countries are examples of total losers.

Now, Charlie Reese is a retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinel who had worked as a reporter for decades and this is part of what he wrote in his final article.

He defined clearly who it is that, in the final analysis, must assume responsibility for the judgments made that impact each one of us every day. It's a short but good read that is worth the time and worth remembering.


As he said, one hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 330 million citizens in this country who are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

He went on: “It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 330 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility.

I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.

Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists, disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.”

And then there is also Congressman Ken Buck. He was elected in 2014 as president of one of the largest freshman classes ever to enter Congress. And he said that he immediately realized why nothing gets done in Congress. It isn't because of political gridlock. In fact, members of both political parties work together all too well to fleece taxpayers and plunge America deeper into debt.

Instead, Buck has witnessed first-hand how the unwritten rules of Congress continually prioritize short-term political gain over lasting, principled leadership. When he insisted that they, as Congressmen, keep their word to voters, he was berated on the House floor by his own party leaders. When other members of Congress dared to do what they believed to be right for America instead of what the party bosses commanded, Buck saw them stripped of committee positions and even denied dining room privileges by the petty beltway bullies.


Sounds a lot like a football team with a great playbook and owner, but with a lot of bad players, doesn’t it?

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Dickinson Press, nor Forum ownership.

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