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America burns while Congress plays the fiddle

Political agenda in Congress akin to political rhythms of the Roman Empire There is a rumored account that the Roman Emperor Nero decided to recreate Rome in 64 AD and in his mentally ill state, set

Political agenda in Congress akin to political rhythms of the Roman Empire

There is a rumored account that the Roman Emperor Nero decided to recreate Rome in 64 AD and in his mentally ill state, set fire to the city and while Rome burned Nero played his lyre (violin) and sang songs about the fall of Troy.

K. Gerard Thomas

K. Gerard Thomas

The fire destroyed three of Rome’s 14 districts and killed hundreds of Romans. To quell the outrage and anger of the Roman citizens, Nero blamed the fire on a minority sect of Jews and Romans who were called Christians.

Nero decided it would be good politics to punish the Christians by executing them for a crime they did not commit. The political agenda of the time had some unfortunate similarities to today.

There are those who sit in Washington, D.C., who are not concerned about our nation’s past, or future; they are elected professional liars who turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the world around them.

As America is burning with anger, fear, mistrust, and in some cases, racial hatred and blame, Republican members of Congress play their fiddles singing the same old tired 25-year-old song of obsession with the Clintons.

Republican leaders have announced they are going to hold more congressional hearings on Hillary Clinton’s email’s, with hopes of catching her in a lie. These are the same Republicans who voted 62 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act and wasted more than $7 million investigating Benghazi, finding nothing. Now it’s back to those “damned e-mails.”

Is this what the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and the relatives of the slain Dallas police officers want to hear? I think not, but this is what Congress does best. While thousands of protesters are crying out in the streets across the nation, Congress does nothing.

Republicans, who hold the majority in Congress have paid media surrogates who are burning the airwaves with lies and misinformation against “Black Lives Matter,” and of course, President Obama. If you tell a lie long enough, people who don’t investigate the information will believe you. Just ask ACORN or Van Jones of  CNN.

Like in Rome the Republican talking heads’ job is to make sure the fire of anger and fear keeps burning and spreading across the nation. Their platform is to blame President Obama, Hillary, BLM, and the victims of senseless shootings by police officers and their grieving loved ones.

Democrats in Congress are guilty of being complacent in their job while saying, “We need to do this or that.” They do little to hold offending parties accountable for blight of their congressional neighborhood which adds to the difficult working conditions between law enforcement and the public.

They made a strong showing on gun control by sitting in on the congressional floor, but where are they when their constituents are dying in the streets of their communities at the hands of other members of their communities, or what are these Democrats providing for the homeless, fighting poverty, education, and employment?

Many Democratic-run cities are in trouble as crime ticks up, and mistrust between law enforcement and those they are sworn to protect continues to fester. It is the responsibility of the local and congressional leaders to build a bridge that will lead to real reform to assure their constituents have some form of domestic tranquility.

After the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Mo., it was prevalent to many that long-term political leaders could not relate to the youth of today and in their frustration there was a lack of respect by both sides today’s youth don’t have a point of reference to the past and our elder statesmen never prepared themselves and molded others for the future.

Rome was rebuilt but at what cost? Hundreds died after Nero’s fire including the innocent Christians who by blood and a lie bore the blame, as our nation wants to rebuild from another tragedy we must ask ourselves at what cost are we willing to create a “More Perfect Union.”

Congressional paralysis will keep the fire burning if they continue to say no to police reform, and training.  If congressional leaders don’t spend more time in their districts encouraging the people who live in their communities to become members of law enforcement, the fire will keep burning, Until Congress passes some sensible gun control bill and tackles our nation’s original sin of racism, the fire will burn even more.

If Congress continues to play their political fiddle and ignore the multi-racial thousands of citizens who are protesting in the streets, like Nero of old they will find themselves running out of Washington D.C. come election time.

America can’t rebuild until we put out the fire.



Kevin G. Thomas is a veteran Los Angeles-area freelance journalist whose editorial runs weekly in the St. Louis Evening Whirl, a 76-year-old publication. Locally, he has written for the Los Angeles Wave and the L.A. Watts Times. He is a former educator with B.A. degrees in theology and marketing.


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