With Crises Everywhere. the President and Congress Go On Vacation

The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll dated August 4th indicates that 74% of those surveyed feel that Congress is unproductive while the President’s approval rating has dropped to a low of 40%. These responses and the responses to numerous other polls reflect that a clear majority of the American citizenry has lost faith in a White house and Congress that are mired in irreconcilable differences regarding immigration, a decaying infrastructure, the Internal Revenue Service and Veterans Administration scandals, a widening economic gap between the very rich 1% and everyone else, the costs associated with a growing number of devastating natural disasters, the wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East, Russian aggression in Ukraine, and outbreaks of contagious diseases such as Ebola, to name a few. Against this backdrop of global upheaval, the President and Congress decided to go on vacation. While today’s technology allows politicians to stay informed and connected, it can’t replace open debate and face-to-face discussion regarding the many issues that face the world today. As American citizens, we must demand more from our elected representative. Sometimes vacations need to be cancelled to show Americans and the world that we are open for business; that we understand the urgency and gravity of the issues of the day.
Internally, to be productive, Republicans need to stop being the “Party of No,” and work with the President to hammer out bipartisan agreements. The Democrats need to stop trying to create a federally funded program for every problem in our country. As former President, Theodore Roosevelt once said, “The first requisite of a good citizen in this Republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight.” As global issues continue to mount, we cannot wait to the next election for our politicians to start acting like they understand the implication for America and the world if we continue to do nothing in order to gain some partisan advantage in a political campaign.

Paul Okum has 40 years’ experience with the Federal Government in the Departments of Transportation, Interior, Army, and Defense in leadership positions, including being a US Army officer and a director of a human resources office in the Department of Defense. Okum has written “Leadership DNA,” a guide book about identifying, selecting, and developing natural born leaders. The book also explains how to deal with poor performing leaders before they cripple an organization.
For more information about Paul Okum and “Leadership DNA,” visit

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6 Responses to With Crises Everywhere. the President and Congress Go On Vacation

  1. Hello Paul.

    You say that Rs need to stop being the “Party of No” and compromise, the Ds need to stop making federal programs for every problem, legislators need to cancel vacations, and citizens need to demand more. So, what gets that started? Citizens demanding more?

    Seems to me that the Ds have clearly stated their positions time after time, and their positions are clearly wrong to a moral citizen, which I consider myself to be.

    Seems to me that the Rs don’t know what to do.

    There are some things a moral citizen cannot compromise on, such as abortion and marriage. Even when the Supreme Court passes judgment on a moral issue, such as the recent birth control decision, the Ds say defiant things saying they want to overtrun the court’s decision.

    I’ve made my opinion known on some issues to my legislators. The letter always comes back as the legislator saying, “I did what I did because I believe it is right”. So, what impact did I have?

    I think our president has shown beyond doubt that he is going to do what he wants no matter what.

    I think we continue down the slope of moral decline. The limits on issues are being moved and removed one at a time. When that happens, can it ever be reversed?

    I do not think the Ds and Rs and citizens are going to come together on any of this? It involves morals, and that’s an area of great debate.

    {I need to go. I may finish later}

    • {conclusion to above}

      What’s the bottom line? I don’t think our country will come back to where we once were. Very well could be that it’s too far gone. But there might be a chance. If someone with the integrity, moral character, and intelligence like Dr. Ben Carson becomes President in 2016, then there could be a chance of turning things around. If Hillary gets it……we will not recover by means of a political situation.

      Bottom line? We are in a spiritual battle as well as a physical battle/debate. No matter what politicians do or say, God will have the last word.


      2 Chronicles 7:14
      God says, “IF MY PEOPLE who are called by My name will HUMBLE themselves, and PRAY and SEEK My face, and TURN from their wicked ways, then I WILL HEAR from heaven, and will FORGIVE their sin and HEAL their land.

      Note that it is conditional – IF.
      Note that it’s His people who need to act.
      Note that His people need to HUMBLE, PRAY, SEEK, TURN.
      Note IF His People do, THEN He will HEAL our land.

      • paulokum says:

        Jim, the history of America is full of words and deeds trying to institute the idea and reality of democracy into the world order. What we’ve found out is that democracy is messy and imperfect but it is the best hope for humanity to live in freedom with a Constitution to protect each one of us. We fought a Civil War and lost over 600,000 dead to end the travesty of slavery. Looking back on it, how could half the country argue that slavery was just and yet the South did just that. If America can survive that war then there is hope that we can survive the current issues of today.

      • “If America can survive that war then there is hope that we can survive the current issues of today.” Yes, those are words to consider.

        Was it Lincoln who set the tone, as in leadership, to get America through the Civil War?

        Do you think it requires a certain special leader today who is going to spark and lead our survival, and get us out of the problems we have?


      • paulokum says:

        It was Lincoln who possessed the leadership DNA to hold the Union together and abolish slavery. And I do think we need leaders at all levels of our Republic in both the public and private sectors to collectively lead us out of our partisanship ways. We need leaders who will actually put our nation first and foremost and mean it.

      • But, on thye national scene, where are those leaders? Who are they? I read a little about Lincoln and how he appointed men to compliment him and help him, even those who ran against him. Could be that it starts from the top and depends on that leaders DNA. Then others will be called forth and show forth to take on the tasks at hand.

        Yes, leaders at all levels. President, Governors, Mayors, legislators, and so forth. But that seems vague to me. Because that’s a given.

        Locally, I like Gov. Corbett in PA. He has chosen some very good cabinet members who have changed things for the better, even though an uneducated electorate does not see it. Locally, we’ve had the good and the bad.

        Seems to me that on the national scene, we have a serious lack in people who will inspire others to greatness. Maybe that’s where I sense somewhat of a hopelessness. However, someone like Dr. Ben Carnson is someone who can inspire greatness again.

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