Tip of the spear: Often I am thanked for my service to the country as a Navy veteran. I usually respond with “It was a privilege and honor to serve.” But sometimes the individuals are especially grateful in their appreciation. In those occurrences I tell them this:
The defense of the country can be thought of as a spear. At the tip of the spear, we have military members directly exposed to combat. The spearhead is made up of the rest of the military that provide combat support, in other words, things that the front-line troops need to win on the battlefield. The spear's shaft is made up of the rest of American society, it is made of you. Without a strong shaft, the spearhead is worthless.
What makes up the shaft?
The shaft is made up of the middle class, blue and white collar who are back in the states. Service men and women appreciate the teachers, plumbers, electricians, farmers, ranchers, refinery hands, roustabouts, roughnecks, biologists, police, fire, EMTs, bankers, engineers, doctors, nurses, pizza delivery drivers, garbage men and everybody else that keep society functioning for their families. They know that while they are deployed, society is stable and functioning smoothly.
Over the last decade a harmful shattering of the spear’s shaft has occurred. Caused by extreme positions on the right and left, fueled by greed for power and a desire to force their will on everyone else, the extremists are tearing apart the spear's shaft. The spear is held together by the blue and white collar middle class, it is the middle class that is being damaged by the extremists on both the left and right. This fractured shaft is not good for Texas or the United States. The blue and white collar middle class is rightly focused on things such as: 1. Having a strong and stable economy for work to provide financial security for their families. 2. A good school system for their children. 3. Safety and security in the home and in public. 4. An opportunity to enjoy an individual’s choice of leisure or recreation. The concept of “the health, safety and welfare of the public” is justifiably the focus of the middle-class Texan. Businesses also have these values because they wish to be located in a stable environment where their employees feel comfortable. The extreme right control of Texas politics is not good for business. Abbott and the Legislature have gone much too far to the right as evidenced by their attack on abortion, LGBTQ+ and voting rights. Coupled with the failure to ensure ERCOT grid reliability, after having been warned in 2015, business growth in Texas is severely threatened.
When Abbott embraced the polarizing extremes of the far right at the beginning of his administration, he chose to ignore the importance of the Texas electrical grid, the need to provide drought protection for Texas farming and ranching, the Texas oil and gas industry and Texas’ underfunded and broken school financing. All are critical to the middle-class Texan and the Texas economy. The shaft must be mended. This can only be accomplished by staying focused on blue and white collar middle class values and a commitment to listen to the views of the minority party, whichever that party may be. Radicals, either left or right, need to be politely ignored by concentrating on the middle class so that the spear’s shaft can be repaired. And another approach that will require much thought and crafting into our political spectrum is ranked choice voting. This method of candidate selection will restore voice to the middle of the political spectrum and lessen the influence of extremists on the left and right. Many thanks to Cynthia B., a voter and concerned citizen who reminded me of ranked choice voting. Your input is valuable to me, I will listen to good ideas!