Minority Report

I am not sure, but I think this may be my first post concerning a current political issue, other than elections, that is being talked about in the news and my corner of the social/digital universe.

If you live under a rock, or just do not pay attention to news or politics, here is the gist. There are international talks underway concerning the nuclear development program in Iran (I know, right? When aren’t there international talks concerning the nuclear development program in Iran?). The United States, Russia, China, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom are attempting to negotiate a deal with Iran, which is beginning to sound promising.

A little while back the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, came and spoke to the Congress of the United States at the request of House Speaker John Boehner, not the President. Following the speech, freshman senator Tom Cotton wrote an open letter to the  “Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” which has, predictably drawn considerable criticism. Just do a google search for “letter to Iran,” and see for yourself.

Having read the letter, and doing my very best to keep my bias removed from this line of thought, I can see where the writer is coming from, and the point he is trying to convey. However (there is always an however), the way the letter is written reeks of condescension. It reads as a mini-lecture on American civics given to middle-schoolers. I cannot comprehend the level of self-importance that the language conveys.

The writer, and those that signed, are members of a collective body whose voice is supposed to be singular. They each are one member and one vote within a body of one-hundred. At best, the body can be interpreted as representatives from 50 individual states. Even then, they are a delegation of two. Yet, one sovereign body it is, as defined by the Constitution, Article I. Forty-seven senators, including the writer, signed the letter that is written on a piece of paper with the letterhead “United States Senate, Washington, DC 20510.”

Trying to look beyond the patronizing language sent to leaders and the head of state of another sovereign nation, there is another level of self-importance over which I cannot get. Forty-seven signatures beneath a letter written beneath a letterhead representing one body made up of one-hundred delegates. Do the math. Forty-seven out of one-hundred is forty-seven percent. That is not a majority. How self-involved does one have to be to believe that what is decidedly less than a majority represents the opinion of a collective body?

Had the senator written this letter under his office’s letterhead, I could understand that. But, by using the letterhead of the United States Senate, he, and the other signers, attempted to use the august body of the Senate to give greater credence to a minority opinion and their individual benefit. Yet, nowhere in his letter does he stipulate that this point of view is of the minority.

I believe it would serve the senator from Arkansas well to have any other open letters he wishes to send to leaders or heads of state written by his communications staffers. Yes, he may very well be representing the interests of his constituents in Arkansas, but when he is attempting to represent the Senate of the United States, he is representing many more people, and, clearly, according to the number of agreeing signatures, the minority in this case.

I do not know if this is the first case of a minority opinion being sent on official United States Senate letterhead to leaders of another nation, but it sure as hell should be the last.

Partisan rhetoric aside, the minority opinion does not represent the opinion of a body that represents the whole country. It would do well for Mr. Cotton and the forty-six other senators that support him, including the two from my state, to remember that. The Senate was not established to represent individual or minority points of view. In the Senate, the majority rules.


Hurry Up and Wait!

Waiting. This is something I am not good at doing. Ask anyone who knows me. I do not do well when it comes to waiting, though, a lot of times I do it to myself. I hate waiting so much that I am obsessive about people waiting on me. Doesn’t make sense? Well, I will get to an arranged meeting spot 10 to 15 minutes early and wait on others just so they do not have to wait on me. No, now that I think about it, that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Regardless of this nonsense, I hate waiting, and, once again, I have done it to myself.

My application for graduate school is due for early review on March 15th. What did I do? I submitted it a little over a week ago. Three weeks early. I submitted my application three weeks before the early review date. What have I done every day since I submitted my application? I have checked the status. I have checked on the status of my application every day. Every. Single. Day.

Like I said, I do not do well when it comes to waiting.

I know exactly where I get that from. A short story…

When my brother and I were growing up, school started at 8, well middle and high school started at 8:15, but the home room call was at 8. Take a guess at what time we got to school every day. Between 7:30 and 7:40/45. See, my dad has to get everywhere early and when he had to be at work by 8, he had to get there well before 8, so that means we got to school early…way early. Did that stop once I got my driver’s license and became responsible for getting my brother and me to school? No. I moved the heavens and earth to get my brother out of the bed and showered so we could leave the house by 7:30 for the 10 minute drive to school.

Did that stop once I moved out of the house? No. With every job I have had, I have shown up at least 10 to 15 minutes early for the shift, well, except for those pesky times of over-sleeping. When I know that I am not going to be at least 10 minutes early, my mind begins to panic. Yes. Panic. My heart rate rises and the dread and fear of being late overcomes any rational thought that could pass through my head. I am always in competition with the clock. When we go on a trip and use the GPS and the GPS tells us that we will arrive by 3:15, I do everything in my power to arrive by 3:00. I guess you could call it an obsession or a compulsion or an obsessive compulsion.

When I went back to school to finish my undergrad, I was the student that was either at the door first, waiting for the previous class to end so I could sit at my desk, or I was the first one in the door of the empty classroom waiting for my other classmates and professor to show up. I was that guy, not because I wanted to impress the professor with my punctuality, but because I needed to do it. I needed to do it. If I was going to be tardy, I would not even go to class. That is how much I hate being late. I would rather chalk up an absence than be late to class.

This drives my need to always be early and adds to my frustration of hating to have to wait, because what happens when I get to class early? I have to wait for it to start. It is a vicious cycle that never, ever ends. It’s like the bad joke that never goes away, or the shitty song that stays in your head and plays over and over and over and over again.

So, I have already checked on the status of my application once today. I will probably do so again after lunch, and at least one more time before I go to bed. Why? Because I am a glutton for punishment, and I cannot wait to see what happens. Now that I think about it, that saying makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Clearly, I can wait, and I hate it.