I got my height in 8th grade. I was tall then, but the late bloomers towered over me by my sophomore year. Why in the hell did I move from ground-based sports to one that expected me to be tall? It was the girls.
Girls played volleyball. So, I decided to pick it up. It’s a skill game. But I was athletic, and the skills came quickly. I watched the girls’ skills and learned from them. They welcomed my effort.
The men’s game has an 8-foot net separating the teams. I could stuff a volleyball on a 10-foot basketball rim, so I thought I would be good. But a six-foot six blocker only needed to jump a little to be an obstacle. I needed to up my game.
I remember practicing the steps, the approach, then the explosion off the ground. If I could just get a couple inches higher. Adrenaline helped. I found I could gauge the ball, start my approach, then at the moment needed to lift, if I focused my hatred on a spot on the ground, I seemed to get a little higher.
I didn’t hate my opponent. Their skills made me a better player.
But I hated the gravity, the earth, that held me down.
I could really jump back in the day. But I was a foolish young man.
Those years of jumping have worn out my knees. I will get one replaced in a couple weeks. It’s the worst; they both need it. So, I will now reap from those seeds of hatred I sowed so long ago. We need to be careful about the seeds we sow.
The smile and wave to our grumpy neighbor is a seed. The time taken to understand a decision that will affect us is a seed. Blind partisan loyalty is a weed in full bloom. The seed was the hatred of the other we planted and watered.
I find myself wondering about our US Senate. Having served in a legislative senate, I know it is no comparison. Especially here in Idaho when both representatives and senators run for election every two years.
US Senators get six-year terms. The 1789 Constitution had them selected by their state legislatures. This was a nod to the Articles of Confederation, which tried to make states sovereign. But it became clear in the late 19th century that a few well-placed bribes in a new state could buy a Senate seat. The inability of state legislatures to fulfill their obligation sealed the deal when a few states couldn’t agree on their choice. Some Senate seats were unoccupied for years.
The 17th Amendment changed the selection of Senators to a statewide popular vote in the early 20th century.
Our two Idaho Senators have served for 23 and 13 years. I’m sure they know the DC ropes. But I question their loyalty to our republic. They both have caved to politics, partisan hatred, when the ideals of our founders should have been in their hearts.
I’m sure they have discussions across the aisle to move significant issues. I’m sure they listen to other Senators.
But both listened to testimony about the actions of former President Trump and found no fault.
His first action was to elicit help from a foreign power for his own political domestic benefit. Trump withheld military support for Ukraine that had been approved by Congress to get them to do his dirty work.
His second action was to deny the truth of an election and, with his words and violence of his colleagues, try to subvert our Constitutional process.
These actions of our former President are poisonous seeds. Our Idaho Senators have nurtured their growth. And we have elected them, time and again.
I can’t believe our Idaho legislature would hold them any more accountable than we, the voters have. The harvest is nigh.