The Edmond Sun


November 30, 2013

We’ve done nothing for too long

EDMOND — Dickens wrote in a “Tale of Two Cities,” “It was the best of times and the worst of times.” This seems to fit America right now. The gulf between the haves and have nots is widening. Some are doing very well. Many are struggling and that is a shame living in the greatest and strongest nation on earth. Confidence in government is at an all-time low.  Washington is turned inward on itself and there is a growing chasm between the people and the elected. Few, if any, are minding the store. We are consumed with partisan issues and need a unifying purpose and mission. This can only come from our leadership. And it is not.

There is no doubt the next few years will be defining for the United States. As the sole standing superpower our responsibilities are great at home and abroad. With domestic economic challenges and enemies at work globally it is a time for decisive leadership. It has not emerged from Washington. Leadership takes second chair to politics. Crisis after crisis mark the headlines and we have fumbled through most at best. The can is constantly kicked forward on major programs.

Sequester looms and will have devastating effects on defense and social programs. Congress can barely agree to disagree. Government needs to be controlled and can shrink but through compromise not across-the-board cuts just so some can claim victory in spending reductions. Across-the-board cuts in the private sector would have chilling effects on a company’s growth. Cuts are reasoned and made through deliberations by executive management. The short- and long-term effects are reviewed. That is why universal cuts seldom happen in a business unless it is extremely distressed. The nation has a debt problem but it can be managed with systemic, thoughtful reductions. Not by slash and burn.

The goal for a business cutting back is to strengthen the company and grow its capabilities in tough times. Not destroy the entity, morale of employees and its focus. Washington needs to take a lesson. We are governed by crisis management. There are no set long-term goals for us as a people.

Once we had the Last Frontier or were bound by the looming threat of nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Since its demise we struggle more and more to find our identity. Leadership requires giving the American people a mission beyond unwinnable wars. Where are we going? We are divided and leadership has a challenge to bring us together with some common ground or risk further setbacks that cannot be afforded.

Our government at these critical moments in history is broken. That is bad for everyone. There are three years left in the president’s administration. He can turn his leadership record around but it will require a more engaged and firm leadership style. We need a firm hand on the rudder. He must reach out putting political spin aside to develop relationships with Congress. He cannot get wasted years back but could influence his legacy and positive accomplishment if he would step up developing coalitions across both aisles. Lead from the front and firmly.  

His credibility can be restored of problems were owned outright. His signature health care legislation might be saved if he were willing to admit major problems beyond just the website needing to be addressed with change, compromise and reforms. His major hurdle right now is establishing confidence with the American people. But this is the same task before Congress.

We cannot afford another year of gridlock, brinksmanship and political posturing. There remains a chance this president could initiate compromise to move the country forward tackling reforms in government with Congress. But Congress has to recognize their role in reaching back. We are treading water as a country and it is due to an unwillingness to put politics asides for the greater good.  

As a superpower with a great democratic legacy our government must understand the importance of governing wisely and decisively. Right now our leaders are getting “Fs.” While they dither the country suffers. This is not acceptable. The American legacy is one rooted in greatness. America remains strong because of its people. Washington needs to take stock of the basis of the country’s greatness and work to unite a divided nation.

It should lead by legislating concrete and progressive change instead of arrogantly drawing lines in the sand that neither side will cross. Work together making the Affordable Healthcare Act viable through agreed reforms. End Sequester. Deal with Social Security. Set a clear foreign policy. The list, sadly, goes on and on. Doing nothing carries a huge price tag for the people, economy and benefits our adversaries.

We have been doing nothing too long. Much has to be done. Our leaders must exercise leadership.

PHIL G. BUSEY SR., an Edmond resident, is CEO of The Busey Group of Companies.


Text Only
  • Film critic Turan produces book

    Kenneth Turan, who is the film critic for National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” has written a book “Not to be Missed, Fifty-Four Favorites from a Life Time of Film.” His list of movies span the gamut from the beginnings of filmmaking through the present day.
    There are some surprising omissions on his list. While he includes two films, “A Touch of Evil” and Chimes at Midnight” made by Orson Welles, and one, “The Third Man,” that Welles starred in but did not direct. He did not however, include “Citizen Kane,” that was the first movie Welles made, that is  often cited by both film critics and historians as a favorite film.

    July 28, 2014

  • Logan County’s disputed zone

    Watchers of “Star Trek” may recall the episode from the original series entitled, “Day of the Dove.” In this episode, Captain Kirk and his crew are forced by a series of circumstances into a confrontation with the Klingons. The conflict eventually resolves after Kirk realizes that the circumstances have been intentionally designed by an alien force which feeds off negative emotions, especially fear and anger. Kirk and his crew communicate this fact to the Klingons and the conflict subsides. No longer feeding upon confrontation, the alien force is weakened and successfully driven away.

    July 28, 2014

  • Russell leads in Sun poll

    Polling results of an unscientific poll at show that Steve Russell, GOP candidate for the 5th District congressional seat, is in the lead with 57 percent of the vote ahead of the Aug. 26 runoff election. Thirty readers participated in the online poll.

    July 28, 2014

  • Healthier and Wealthier? Not in Oklahoma

    Increased copays, decreased coverage, diminished health care access, reduced provider budgets and increased frustration are all the outcomes of the Legislature’s 2014 health care funding decisions. Unlike some years in the past when a languishing state economy forced legislators into making cuts, the undesirable outcomes this year could easily have been avoided.

    July 26, 2014

  • Medicaid reform a necessity

    Historically, education spending by the state of Oklahoma has been the largest budget item. This is no longer the case. In recent years, the state of Oklahoma spends more on Medicaid (operated by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority) than common education and higher education combined, according to the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

    July 25, 2014

  • Remembering lessons from 1974

    This week marks the 40th anniversary of an important milestone in America’s constitutional history. On July 24, 1974, the Supreme Court voted 8-0 to order the Nixon White House to turn over audiotapes that would prove the president and his close aides were guilty of criminal violations. This ruling established with crystal clarity that the executive branch could not hide behind the shield of executive privilege to protect itself from the consequences of illegal behavior. It was a triumph for the continued vitality of our constitutional form of government.

    July 25, 2014

  • RedBlueAmerica: Is parenting being criminalized in America?

    Debra Harrell was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The South Carolina woman says her daughter had a cell phone in case of danger, and critics say that children once were given the independence to spend a few unsupervised hours in a park.
    Is it a crime to parent “free-range” kids? Does Harrell deserve her problems? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, debate the issue.

    July 24, 2014

  • Technology that will stimulate journalism’s future is now here

    To say technology has changed the newspaper media industry is understating the obvious. While much discussion focuses on how we read the news, technology is changing the way we report the news. The image of a reporter showing up to a scene with a pen and a pad is iconic but lost to the vestiges of time.
    I am asked frequently about the future of newspapers and, in particular, what does a successful future look like. For journalists, to be successful is to command multiple technologies and share news with readers in new and exciting ways.

    July 23, 2014

  • New Orleans features its own “Running of the Bulls”

    On July12, the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans were filled with thousands of young men who were seeking to avoid being hit with plastic bats wielded by women on roller skates as part of the annual “Running of the Bulls” that takes place in New Orleans.
    The event is based on the “Running of the Bulls” that occurs in Pamplona, Spain, that is  part of an annual occurrence in which a group of bulls rampage through the streets of Pamplona while men run from them to avoid being gored by their sharp horns. That event was introduced to the English-speaking world by Ernest Hemingway, who included scenes from it in his critically acclaimed 1926 novel “The Sun also Rises.”

    July 22, 2014

  • OTHER VIEW: Newsday: Lapses on deadly diseases demand explanation

    When we heard that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had created a potentially lethal safety risk by improperly sending deadly pathogens — like anthrax — to other laboratories around the country, our first reaction was disbelief.

    July 22, 2014


If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
     View Results