To knee, or not to knee?

“To knee, or not to knee, that is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous bone on bone,

Or to take arms against a sea of fluid

And now put new opposing ends on them.”

OK, apologies to William Shakespeare, but these may be the words he would have written had he lived 68 years, like me, instead of the 52 of his.

So, yes, on Monday of this week, I chose not to suffer any longer and get a knee replacement. Those of you who have made similar choices know that, on day five, you are calling yourself an idiot for making such a decision.

But I have faith, my friends.

Faith, knowing that my golfing buddy, Steve, did this less than two years ago and finished the season playing better than ever.

Faith, knowing the advancements in health care allowed me to have a new knee at 7:30 a.m. and be home by 2:30 p.m., same day.

Faith, knowing my doctors and their teams did their very best for me, yet less faith in why it costs so much.

Faith in America, because I am so fortunate to live in a country, unlike millions of others around the world, that offers such an opportunity.

But, right now, as this is written, I must, under the rules of full disclosure, state I am under the influence of drugs (painkillers), and the rest of what you read may not be my actual thoughts under different circumstances.

So, with all this extra couch-time, why not look a bit deeper into what we are forced to watch on cable TV news?

For the record, I watch all the biased cable news networks, although I would prefer to find an unbiased one, if possible.

From the 30,000-foot view, I see way too much politics on the air.

Folks, there is a lot going on in our country and around the world, which does not start and end in Washington, D.C., as they would have us believe. And, with all the divisiveness in politics right now, I actually believe the networks enjoy throwing fuel on the fire just to boost ratings, undermining the very rights they were granted in the First Amendment.

No doubt, that is adding to the hatred, instead of simply informing the citizenry of what our government is up to, and I am disappointed in my former media profession.

If you can sense my frustration, you are beginning to see the effects of my recovery pain.

I could go on and detail all the country’s immediate problems being reported 24-7, like the coronavirus, the southern border, the black hole of Congress, the Christmas presents we won’t get because they are stuck on massive freighters in the Pacific Ocean, etc.

But, with all this extra time on my hands, I wonder not how the immediate issues in front of us will unfold, but the fate of our great nation in the future.

I love the United States of America.

No, we are not perfect. Just as you and me, this country’s people have their faults.

I grew up in a time of optimism and patriotism and deep-thinking leaders with true vision for our country, whether it was putting an end to racism or landing a man on the moon.

We weren’t always successful, but we were moving in the right direction.

With all we have going for us — vast resources, abundant land, unbelievable technology, instant communications, and still a great roadmap to success in our Constitution based on We The People — why is it we can’t seize those opportunities and get past all the petty politics, which is failing before our very eyes?

Why is our federal government struggling so much to carry out the will of the people?

I did run across a piece done by conservative political writer Ben Domenech. Whether or not you agree with him, he raised some valid questions about what our government cannot do yet we all expect them to do:

The government cannot win a war, cannot ensure domestic tranquility, cannot establish equal justice for all, cannot advance the values of our own people, cannot secure our own borders, cannot follow our own laws — and, might I add, cannot balance our own checkbook or pass an infrastructure bill both Republicans and Democrats have wanted for years.

Why not? Partisan politics, that’s why.

Our Founders knew this day would come and that extreme partisanship would divide our country. Yet, with all their wisdom, they gave us no answers on how we can get past this.

So it begs the question: “Is it too much for We The People to ask (and demand) our leaders to work together for our common good?”

And that begs yet another question: “If we did demand they work together, would they even listen to us?”

Now, where did I put those painkillers?

As always, I look forward to reading your thoughts. Let me know at gregawtry@awtry.com.


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