BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON | APR 29, 2020
“I get it. You’re mad. The President is mad. My Democratic friends are mad. My wife is mad. My kids are mad. Even my dog seems mad, and Luna is a golden-doodle and they don’t get mad.” — Professor Jonathan Turley, testifying on impeachment before the House Judiciary Committee December 2, 2019.
The intensity of hate and anger that Dr. Turley experienced on Capitol Hill when he testified late last year in the impeachment proceeding against President Donald Trump has been subdued by the COVID-19 pandemic…for now.
Little did we know just four months ago that while national attention was in the clutches of the political theater being staged in the Capitol, the deadly virus was already creeping into the lives of people on the west coast.
What better time for an old cliché:
If we had only known then what we know now…. think how different things might be.
But that’s water under the bridge, over the dam, down the drain. Continue reading
BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON | DEC 6, 2018
My education in politics and government began in earnest working at the White House and mostly on Capitol Hill in the generational orbit of Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush 41 and Congressional leaders Rhodes, Michel, O’Neill, Foley, Wright, Baker, Byrd, and Dole, all of the “greatest generation.”
Seven of them served in the military during World War II, three of them—Dole, Michel, and Bush—had harrowing experiences in combat that shaped the rest of their lives.
What distinguished them from generations to follow was that most of them—but not all—had in common a strong belief that governing could only be effective in an atmosphere civil enough for opposing sides to reach consensus. They relished vigorous and contentious debate, but never let it get personal, and they engaged in tactics that would have passed muster with the Marquess of Queensberry. They knew when to put down the swords and lift the plowshares. Continue reading
BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON | JUL 16, 2018
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”
Bible, (Matt. 7:12)
It was taught to my siblings and me by my mother back in the 1950s, but the Golden Rule or versions of it have been a lantern for life’s journey for 2000 years or more, a version of which was propounded by the Greek philosopher Aristotle, according to an Internet search. I am not sure if my mother read Aristotle. She was probably introduced to the Rule by Catholic nuns who schooled generations of us back in South Dakota, but who often let it lapse in their own behavior in the classroom where weapons-grade yardsticks were always close at hand. Continue reading