It has been written (I have it on a T-shirt) that “This is the government the founders warned us about.” It is likely that the author of those words was referring to the federal government, but even a cursory look will reveal that the problems perceived have trickled down to more local levels.

As evidence, we only need to look across the river at Virginia. For the last four years, Virginia’s governor, aided by a supportive Legislature, conducted a campaign not much different than Barack Obama’s “transformative” flood of executive orders. Here in Maryland, we have a General Assembly which won’t be happy until the last Maryland Republican is gone from Congress.

It would be easy to simply blame the politicians, but the blame belongs closer to home. It is we the people who put the politicians in office and leave them there. We demand term limits and yet return the same people to office — some for decades. Look in the mirror and ask whose fault that is?

Politicians — and even their constituents — frequently tell us who and/or what they are. Seemingly, we refuse to listen. First to mind on that score is “Slick Willie” Clinton. The people of Arkansas warned us l with that nickname, well prior to his rise to the presidency. Too many didn’t listen.

Of course, today we’re compelled to suffer with Joseph Robinette Biden for another three years — hopefully. I say hopefully because the alternative is absolutely terrifying. The current first in the line of succession was hugely unpopular in her weak try for the presidency. Predictably, her appeal hasn’t improved. Many chose Biden due to problems with Donald Trump. I had problems with Trump, but like many others, I recognized Joe’s greater shortcomings. Come on, man.

In all his decades on the government dole, Joe had no significant accomplishments and had a poor reputation in foreign policy and national security. That was a given. What we are experiencing today was predicted. Robert Gates, an Obama secretary of defense, in a 2015 memoir warned of Biden’s shortcomings. Few listened.

Such ineptitude is not limited to federal service. It can be found all the way down to town councils. At a recent, local town council meeting, a councilman was dithering about his vote on a proposed ordinance before the council when he made an astounding declaration. He said that he didn’t ask to be put into the position of voting on a particular matter. Seriously?

He’s in his second term and had accepted the position of secretary and is now president of the council. He’s run twice to be a town councilman and he didn’t ask? That absurd comment needs to be remembered should he decide to run for a third term. I certainly won’t forget it.

County level elected personnel aren’t exempt from looking foolish in their decisions. One local official threw a temper tantrum when he, as a new electee, found that the county didn’t offer a computer with which he was familiar. Unwilling to learn the system, he insisted on being supplied with his preferred system. Isn’t he special? First impressions are lasting ones, eh? This individual also thinks it’s within his purview to interfere with police officers who are conducting potentially dangerous traffic stops. The personal judgement of this individual is truly deserving of questioning as he considers even higher office.

Enough examples, and back to the original theme.

We the people get the politicians that we deserve. We demand excellence, error-free judgement and performance, from doctors, police, waiters and cooks to name just a few. Why not demand the same from the people we pay to represent us — when, in fact, they more tend to represent themselves and/or their party. Why not demand excellence from politicians who, as we’ve seen of late, literally control our everyday lives?

Instead, we tolerate dalliance, non-transparency, various forms of lying, and questionable financial dealings among other questionable activities. So many cast their votes based upon popularity, looks, personality, party affiliation and fictitious claims. It’s our job and obligation to look deeper.

When politicians tell us who they are with questionable words or deeds and we don’t listen, we deserve what we get. When they alibi, “Well, everyone makes mistakes.” — demand excellence. If we don’t, we don’t deserve it.

Rick Blatchford writes from Mount Airy. Contact him at rpblatch4d@comcast.net.

(43) comments

stjohn42

The author seems to have a weak grasp on what problems we face and where they are coming from. He blames the people trying to help for all the problems they are trying to solve, and holds the real troublemakers blameless.

DickD

A Trump cult supporter, what do you expect from that?

gjthuro

Rick, you said it well even though the lefties on this page seem to just hate the truth....and the stupidity has reached every level of govt....despite the fact the voters pay the freight and when was the last time our two clowns in the senate asked our opinion on any issue; they just fall in line with the rest of the dumbos trying to destroy this beautiful country

DickD

You mean someone was supported by the Russians? Someone that told the "Big Lie"? Someone that incited his cult followers to cause an insurrection? Oh no that is Donald Trump, the Mafia gangster!

Dwasserba

Make sure they have your email if you want clown updates 🤡

Dwasserba

Ugh I feel bruised and battered. D*** my average reading skills.

DickD

Rick, do you have trouble sleeping nights? After writing this gibberish and supporting the Mafia gangster, Trump, I certainly hope so.

gjthuro

your comments are really down low

Hayduke2

Spoken by someone who used the term "lefties, clowns and dumbos" Too funny gjthuro....

threecents

How can we demand more from those elected if so many vote for crazies. Thank goodness we have an experienced, intelligent, hard-working, moderate president for a change. It is no guarantee that things will go well, but at least we did our part by hiring a reasonable choice for a change. Biden is the right choice for right now - if only everyone was smart enough to understand that.

bhall74

Please share with us what Biden has accomplished so far in his Presidency. Take your time...we can wait.

Hayduke2

Repaired relations with our Allies overseas, infrastructure bill, solid approach to the pandemic and vaccine rollout, stock market ( Trump's big bragging point ) at all time high, unemployment down, civility returned to the office..... Are there issues, sure but they are the same any president would face during a pandemic that is GLOBAL...

phydeaux994

A bipartisan Infrastructure Bill that will help millions of citizens in these hard times, many of them in States whose Legislators voted against it. An end to the endless War in Afghanistan which took hundreds of young American lives. A great effort to defeat the COVID-19 Pandemic despite continuing resistance to CDC guidelines from the Trumpers that cost this Nation thousands of unnecessary deaths. A return to our Allies around the World whose trust we have lost over the four years of Trump’s isolationist policy’s. A return to the Constitution and the Rule of Law which Trump abandoned. To name a few, in less than a year.

threecents

I would add to the other responses that just by being a decent person he is a huge upgrade over Trump. Enjoy that and take pride in it, even if you don't like his policies and decisions. We don't suck anymore.

AND Biden wears a mask.......Trump never did, so you know by my past comments who I trust more...so many variables in deciding who you are going to trust...one of my variables is mask wearing,,,all of us have different variables.... that's cool, cool.

Fredginrickey

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

Fredginrickey

Infrastructure bill, reversing Trumps crony giveaway of public lands to his oil cronies, stock market on fire, individual personal savings the highest in decades, unemployment lowest since 1969, for starters

Hayduke2

Oh snap....

Hayduke2

I would like to ammend the title of this junk column to " Demand More from the FNP Opinion Column Writers!" We deserve better.

!"

threecents

This columnist is what the founders warned about.

DickD

There will always be people like Rick, three, and you can't convince them that they are wrong.

Dwasserba

Remember when discussion wasn’t all about who is wrong or who is right, it was about discussing to find some new insight or shared territory….yeah me neither

gabrielshorn2013

"One local official threw a temper tantrum when he, as a new electee, found that the county didn’t offer a computer with which he was familiar. Unwilling to learn the system, he insisted on being supplied with his preferred system. Isn’t he special?"

I originally thought that Mr. Blatchford was referring to Billy Shreve with this statement. However, we see that it was Kai Hagen. Doesn't Mr. Hagen have his own laptop, like everybody else?

Doesn't Mr. Hagen have his own laptop, like everybody else?

Who exactly are you posing this question too gab? Can I answer it?

gabrielshorn2013

Sure. It was rhetorical, but if you feel the need to reply, pickles, why not?

C.D.Reid

Don't hold your breath waiting for a reply from Snowy, gabe, I'm still waiting for him to tell me what the left's game plan is. The best he could tell me so far was to watch some TV show and figure it out for myself. [lol][lol][lol]

threecents

That story is from about 15 years ago. I think he was required to use a govt computer for some of his govt work and he wanted a Mac. I think he wanted it to make sure it was compatible with his home computer. It was a huge deal to some people - a lot like his anti-helium balloon bill.

shiftless88

Weekly jobless claim lower than it has been for 52 years. I'm not sure that it is defensible to claim that Biden isn't doing a good job.

armillary

Word has it Rick contributed to the demise of the Mt. Airy Messenger newspaper with his endless stream of whiny, negative letters to the editor critical of the town government. With no place left to whine but the FNP, it seems he's trolling the Mt Airy Town Council President (but why not by name Rick?).

Glancing at today's column, I crossed off almost every box on my Blatchford Bingo card, but he failed to mention the peanut farmer and Let's go Brandon.

Geordie, the Mt Airy Messenger may be gone, but it's not too late for the FNP.

Hayduke2

arm - I like the Blatchford Bingo card. Starting my own now.

armillary

Come on, man!

armillary

[thumbup][thumbup]

Interesting premise armillary that for some reason rings true, but I think it may already be too late the FNP because the FNP is actually paying him for his whiny negative columns that are critical of everyone, even his loving spouse. Remember the missus is why he's still writing whiny negative columns....he's hanging around because of the missus and the FNP is paying him to hang around or do people write columns for free? Can I submit a column?

Why the FNP is paying him to hang around is a mystery to me...? I guess Rick just has a uncanny way with words.....that the FNP appreciates and wants to promote, I mean why else would they actually be paying him?

Do you think Geordie reads the comments?

DickD

The FNP tries to balance left and right philosphy.

@Dick D

at times it does appear the FNP is trying the walk the tight rope...but at times they topple over....luckily there's a net to catch them?

Dwasserba

You can submit.

Hayduke2

Rick, quick question(s). Was the election won by Biden and was it a free and secure one? Should those who participated and encouraged the January 6 insurrection be held responsible?

threecents

He could not answer that question without changing the subject.

Also why ask questions you already know the answers too? I would ask Rick if he thinks JFK Jr, is going to suddenly appear and declare Trump the true winner? Still not sure how even if JFK Jr. does appear that he would carry that much clout that his words would be magical enough to have any sway over anything....I am probably over thinking this whole thing here...that's the skeptic in me I suppose?

phydeaux994

George HW broke it, Clinton fixed it. George W smashed it, Obama fixed it. Donald J destroyed it, Biden will fix it. All despite a Republiban mission to block all of them from succeeding. Do you disagree Rick? If so, give us your version of the past three Republiban failures. To keep repeating the same Republiban Administrations and expecting a different result is madness.

MD1756

[rolleyes][scared]

Fredginrickey

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

stjohn42

[thumbup]

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