Two years ago, I was pretty much home bound a week after spending 45 days in the hospital recovering from a near-fatal motorcycle accident.
Much of the past 24 months have included a lot of therapy and rehab as doctors and therapists have worked to restore my ability to walk and to heal my mind from what they call a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Today, I can walk without crutches or canes and my mind functions at a level that lets me write newspaper articles and shoot photos for local newspapers. I also shoot a lot of video of music and other parts of the culture of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia where we call home.
My mind is not at full strength and no one can say if it every will be. I still suffer memory lapses and sometimes have to pause in mid-sentence to regain my thoughts and topic at hand.
The doctors at Carilion Medical Center in Roanoke, Virginia, call me “a walking miracle” because few, if any of them expected me to survive the accident or — if I survived — to walk or function.
I walk carefully on a right leg reconstructed with braces, rods, screws and plates. My right eye sits in an artificial socket constructed during plastic surgery and it takes care and pain to turn my head.
For the most part, I’m back up to speed in areas where the doctors and therapists doubted I could achieve.
But I have not yet returned to full-time writing for Capitol Hill Blue. I used to write three columns a week. For the past two years, I have written less than a half dozen pieces for this web site.
Since I started this site in 1994 and helped guide it through more than 20 years on the Web — making it the longest-running political news site on the Internet — that lapse is unacceptable.
So, starting today — January 5, 2015 — I am returning to at least three columns a week. Can I do it? I don’t know. All I can say is that I can try.
I see the mess that politics and government has become and I feel a great anger and need to comment. Government and those who profess to lead it are monumental failures. Even worse, those who claim they can do better are self-serving, private-agenda-pushing zealots who offer little or no hope for improvement.
At best, America is a dismal swamp controlled by narrow interest groups and those who put political allegiance above what is needed for the nation.
To deal with these problems, we must first answer two questions:
Can America be salvaged?
And should it be salvaged?
I believe the answer to both questions is “yes.”
“How” is the bigger question and the one that I hope to address in the future.
I’m a strong believer in the lessons of history and the wisdom of some who had led us in dire times.
To paraphrase Winston Churchill, democracy is the worst form of government imaginable — except for all other forms.
That, at least, is a place to start.