If you are into politics at the national level, last week was quite exciting.
President Trump signed the U.S., Mexico, Canada Free Trade Agreement on Monday and gave the State of the Union speech on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the Senate voted to acquit the president on the two charges of impeachment, which also had fireworks of its own after one Republican senator, Mitt Romney of Utah, voted guilty on one of the two charges.
Between the State of the Union speech and the impeachment voting and aftermath, I felt like I was sort of watching a live version of the Disney cartoon, "Recess." For me, many of the actions and behavior of our elected representatives were appalling and childish on all sides.
For many years, the tradition was when the president touts a success, the other side fails to acknowledge by applause. Like a sporting event, the other side doesn't cheer when their opponent scores. However, when things are announced that are good for everyone, or when individuals who have given freely to the country without respect to political party are recognized, why would someone not want to show appreciation?
In last week's speech, Trump took credit for things that may or may not have been directly related the administration's actions. In the recognition of certain individuals, though, everyone should have been united. I understand why Democrats would not applaud conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, but I do not understand why they would not applaud Charles McGee, the Tuskegee airman promoted to brigadier general and his great-grandson, Iain Lanphier, who aspires to join the U.S. Air Force.
Many years ago, if the president and the Speaker of the House were from different parties, the speaker would sit and show no emotion as things were announced. Opposing party members in Congress would normally sit quietly, jointly recognizing any success Americans were experiencing. That, unfortunately, has changed. In 2009, Rep. Joe Wilson, a Republican congressman from South Carolina, broke protocol by shouting "You lie!" at President Obama during his speech. Wilson later called the White House to offer an official apology to then-Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who said, "We can disagree without being disagreeable."
Speaker Nancy Pelosi's actions were unacceptable for a senior elected official. While she was elected to represent the people of her district, as Speaker of the House, she has taken on an added responsibility to represent all Americans. Throughout the speech, she looked uninterested and refused to acknowledge any gains by the country. At the end, she ceremoniously ripped the president's speech in half in front of the cameras. To many Americans on both sides of the aisle, those actions made her appear like a child having a temper tantrum.
Many congressional members on both sides have been acting childish in their antics for the cameras as well - as does the president, with the continuous name-calling of his opponents. All of them should have to sit and listen to the scolding of an older elementary school teacher and learn to behave.
I have an idea. Americans should put more school teachers in these elected positions and less lawyers and business executives. Teachers understand dealing with different personalities, teach teamwork and sportsmanship even in times of defeat, promote hard work, and go above and beyond for those they serve. Heaven knows they can function within tight budget restraints and still manage to get the job done. In addition, they know how to properly deal with anyone who gets out of line.
In other words, D.C. has become a big playground. Let's put some adults in charge.
Randy Gibson is the CEO of RDG Communications Group, LLC, and the former director of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce and the Texas State Rifle Association.