The Forest And The Trees

The Forest And The Trees

With the exception of a grand view across the canyon to the bluff on the other side, our relatively new home is surrounded by hardwood trees, Maple and Oak for the most part. When my wife Julie, cat George, and I arrived on Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau at the end of July the trees were full and green all around us but for that aforementioned grand bluff view. So, for most of our four acres I could look into the forest and see very little, not our nearest neighbors north and south, maybe an occasional deer, hawk, squirrel, or wild turkey. I could see our driveway snaking up and through the trees to the main road into our place and this somehow gave me a modest and odd feeling of comfort.

Now, with most of the leaves gone from the trees I can see the neighbors’ houses and more clearly some of the critters that inhabit with us our acreage. There is now a barren sense to the landscape, a lonely quality, and it is now the beginning of the time when we eagerly await the arrival of spring and new growth.

Well, with my mind and this quiet, infertile surrounding I leap to the state of our lives and the seemingly unproductive mechanism of our government. Some could argue that it has been a constant fall in the beltway with the shedding of decency, duty, and honesty, like the leaves on the trees.

I know politics is a dangerous subject in which to segue into, but it seems to me we have reached some sort of critical mass in Washington. No matter the side of your political leaning it is rather difficult not to notice the great abyss separating ‘we the people’ from our leaders. For me, a Christian and a man of faith, you already know my leaning side.

After five years of the current administration, at the beginning in control of both houses of congress and the presidency, what we have is a rudderless ship and a captain still making his promises of change. When will we get the message? The president is not a leader. He is a campaigner, a charming and eloquent rogue who is slowly taking our country away from us, we who still believe in freedom and liberty. He wants the government to control our lives, knowing better than we what is good for us… May I refer you to the recent Affordable Health Care Act? It is an act few people have read or totally understand, even the president.  But we are surely finding out about the AHCA and a website that just does not want it…along with many people.

He deceives us, gets re-elected with deception and with promises to the entitlement folks. He wishes to redistribute what earnings we might make and give them to those who have found it easier to live on welfare. (Don’t get me wrong. We must help those among us who truly need our help.) The president and his administrative functionaries will give us few or no answers to questions of vital importance… Like, Benghazi, the IRS targeting, et al. What do we need for further proof of where this president wants to lead us? History has shown us this place he wishes to lead us is not a good place. Is it not time for action? Not civil unrest! Not revolution! We need some strong voices, petitions, from ‘we the people’ to force a detour back to common sense and the US Constitution.

The president has had five years to show us his change. I’ve seen his change and do not like it. Initially, I was one of many who hoped he could deliver on his promises. He and his people work for us and their job performance is deplorable. If we must be in this place for another three years, can we at least use the mid-term elections in 2014 to alter the senate? Can we make Harry Reid in the senate and Nancy Pelosi in the house non-factors?

I am not a pundit. I’m just a US citizen who is very concerned about the state of our union. I’m currently writing a book from my ‘Joe Public’ perspective on politics. The book will make me many enemies, I’m sure, just as this post likely will, but perhaps there are some kindred souls out there who feel much the same.

Oh! I started with the forest and the trees, leaves falling, barren waste, views? That’s the nature of my mind…to wander and wonder.

I’m on Twitter (@brchitwood)


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8 thoughts on “The Forest And The Trees

  1. Both major parties spend our money irresponsibly. We need a better choice, a powerful third party that stands on fiscal restraint and personal responsibility. Government at all levels should be helpful, not hurtful. Sadly, I’ve become cynical about politics when I once was engaged and hopeful. I am not Libertarian, but I believe in most of what they promote. Limited government regulation and involvement makes sense to me. I want to be protected while I am free to pursue my life. I think government overreaches into my life too far these days. Anyway, thanks for opening up the dialogue, Bill.


  2. Your house and grounds sound wonderful Billy Ray. I don’t pretend to understand your politics but may I make some observations from an onlookers point of view? When your current President came to power many people out here were filled with hope. A black man elected to a role in a country many thought racist, and a man who anted to introduce a health policy that encompassed all. Over time we’;ve watched him being gradually eroded in his position and many have been the vitriolic attacks on him. It appears that his opponents within and without his party have managed to have the health bill amended so it no longer resembles the original plans and yet again you have huge , rich Insurance companies at the heart of healthcare. People who can decide to end treatment because the coverage on the policy has run out, or deny treatment because it might prove costly. It doesn’t make sense to leave your care in the hands of bean counters.
    The other big problem we notice is that politics is a game for the already rich-to get richer. No-one without a fortune can afford to stand. It would make sense to limit the amount that can be spent on an election campaign so that someone without a huge amount of backing who owes political debts can get in. Once in, maybe the chances of some large firms like Monsanto or the NRA won;t have the clout they once had. Maybe a third party way would be better since currently the country seems bitterly divided between the two existing camps.
    Jobs sent abroad in the last few years could be returned to the US so the economy can grow and people have more money in their pockets and be less reliant on the State.
    This is a problem all over Europe too and people are losing hope.
    Time to bring hope alive again.
    Thank you for reading.


    1. Hello, David,

      It’s difficult to argue with what you have to say. President Obama is getting a lot of flak and most of it, I feel, is deserved. He is a charmer, eloquent in his speaking, but he is not a leader — a country needs a leader, one who can work both sides of the political aisle. He is a ‘constant campaigner’ and has some inept people in his administration… You mention a third party, and I would like to see the Libertarian Party gain some considerable ground…

      I won’t belabor here, except to say thank you for your good words and assure you that my comments echo a lot of citizens in our country. Like most people, I, too, wanted to see what Obama could do with his ‘change’ rhetoric back in 2009. I’m just one voice but it is truly what I believe – and has absolutely nothing to do with race. I’m just finishing a ‘Joe Public Perspective on Politics’ in which I do some political rambling… I’ll likely make some enemies and some friends.

      Good to hear from you and thank you for your thoughtful comments.

      Best, wishes,

      Billy Ray


      1. Thanks for your thoughtful answer Billy Ray and for not finding offence where none was meant. Maybe the Libertarian party is the answer if they bring a fresh approach that’s for the people and not for the corporations and big businesses.
        Best Wishes


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