Something Happened

Every year, thousands of historians, researchers, genealogists, and Bushongs visit this Bushong United Website. They read the articles, and digital books, pouring over and studying every detail of this family and their countrymen. Genealogy is the study of family and its relationships and politics should not enter into it, because just like family, it is supposed to be above it. It's not about the Republican or Democrats, nor is it about conservatives or liberals, it's about the whole Bushong family, all of us. A family that doesn't stop being family when they are on the opposite side of politics. However, last year America and its Bushongs, at least the majority, chose a political path that seems so obviously at odds with our interests, it threatens not only our family's future, but our adopted county's future as well. The result is, today, through that democratic consensus, we elevate to the Presidency a man, whose qualifications and past personal behavior, at the very least are questionable.

As a result, if I'm to continue spending countless hours, researching and writing about our family, I have to believe that there is a future, for them and our country. So as a matter of conscience, at least for me, it has to be addressed. Since the nature of genealogy is to spend countless hours studying the minutia of our families, it seems a small thing to ask, if, before we delve further into history and Bushong genealogy, we take just a few minutes to read and consider what could have caused it and what it means for us. Because something happened...

Knowing our Family

I've charted virtually the entire Bushong family, (at least thru the 1940 Census), and have pretty well dedicated my studies and writings to the Bushong family. I have studied Bushongs from our patriots, and our Generals (and Admiral), all the way to our handful of famous as well as the black sheep, and infamous, including the murdered and the murderers! In doing so, I have developed a pretty clear understanding of those directly and indirectly related to this family, and its unique name. And it is a fact, that the Bushong family is pretty well representative of white, middle-class America.

Through studies and charting, it can be concluded, with the exclusion of two or three small branches including, some descended from slaves and a line of French Canadians, there is just the one Bushong family and one Bushong family line. That's the Colonial Bushong Family. to which virtually every Bushong in America is related (through birth or adoption). They all are related to the original immigrant Hans John Boschung (III) who immigrated before 1719 and his two sons, Hans John Boschung (IV) and Johann Nicholas Boschung. These immigrants with their German Swiss language and customs took a huge chance and fearlessly left their homeland of Switzerland and their adopted country, Germany and sailed to America. Because in America they were promised freedom of religion so they could worship their own Protestant faith as well as the opportunity to own land. Those immigrants struggled in their new land and overcame adversity to become a successful and solidly middle class family. A family that shares the same pressures, fears and desires as most Americans. But we have changed...

Be a Patriot not a Partisan

Perhaps the first thing is Partisan Politics. Because many of us have become too partisan, and when someone is a partisan, very often they can't discuss or consider any political positions except their own. Possibly some of us are unaware that we've become partisan? Maybe we're confusing partisanship and patriotism? Because being a patriot isn't about cheering on your county, it's about doing what's right, or in other words, doing your duty for your country.
definition partisan: someone who exhibits blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning allegiance to a political party.
So are you a partisan? A party loyalist? If you still aren't sure, check your answers to either of these questions.
  • Do you vote the straight party line?
  • Can you talk politics without getting angry?
If someone votes a straight-party ticket every time, often without doing their homework, then that makes them a partisan. In fact, that's the very definition of a partisan. Or perhaps, we can't talk politics without the conversation ending in bruised egos and hurt feelings, then we're unable to see or consider the other side of the issues. Partisan politics allows for no compromise, yet it's only through compromise that political solutions can be achieved. Without compromise, there's only a win at someone's loss, like a war. Think back on one of our country's other partisan divides, the America Civil War? The Partisans against Patriots? It almost tore the country apart. In partisan politics, though one side may win, the country as a whole loses, yet there can be no denying, the issues and solutions, facing our country, involve everyone. In historical and genealogical circles, many are proud of ancestors they call patriots, but we should remember true patriots fought our wars and did their duty for the good of the entire country. If we want to be a patriotic family, we have to evolve out of partisan thinking. Only then can we accept our entire family making it whole, as it will for our country.

Republican-Democrat-Conservative-Liberal?

All sides need to be considered in every election, even though most of us are Republican. My own Bushong family political roots are Republican, and that means way back. My great great grandfather, James S. Bushong, was a Republican, according to sources. Read it. And though I can't say for sure, his father, my great great great grandfather, George Bushong probably became a Republican, sometime after the party's creation in 1854.

When the presidential campaign began in 1888, my great grandparents, Joseph and Annie Beardsley Bushong, proved their political party affiliation by naming my grandfather after Republican presidential, candidate, and future 23rd president, Benjamin Harrison. After the election, they even wrote President Harrison congratulating him and told him of his namesake. President Harrison was good enough to reply with an autograph on a lithograph print of the White House, which is still a proud possession.

A Landslide for Bushong
Read the full text (pop-up)
      Then there's Robert Grey Bushong, 1883-1951, the Bushong family's U. S. Congressman from Pennsylvania. Congressman Bushong, was a life-long Republican until elected in 1926.
"I want to renew my pledge to the policies of economy which President Coolidge has so faithfully carried out, and I believe that the people, irrespective of political parties, will see the wisdom of giving Coolidge the backing he surely deserves."
Even before the election, Congressman Bushong, pledged to work with the Democrats and to support then President Coolidge, also a Democrat, because he believed it was best for the country. But Congressman Bushong became disheartened with the political machinery and pressure stemming from two Republican partisans, also from Pennsylvania, Senator David A. Reed and Congressman William Scott Vare. Congressman Bushong was known as a man of principal who was more concerned for his country, and not just the whims of a partisan Republican political machine. He at first threatened to change to the Democratic party, but ultimately chose to end his political career all together, by not pursuing reelection, and he served only two years. Congressman Bushong proved he was a patriot, by his concern with what was best for the whole country, all of its people, not just his party. For more on Robert G. Bushong, click here (page 7).

As a family and as a country, it is our duty to vote for the presidential candidate who is best for our entire country. Remember, and this is critical, it's not a personality contest, and we do not have to like a candidate, just admit and vote for who is best qualified and most deserving to lead our country. Our patriotic ancestors didn't necessarily want to stay in the army, day after day, year after year, but they accepted it as their duty. As a country and family, we need to recognize our duty, and do it too.

Bushongs and Americans have become way too Fearful and Conservative

Let's face it, knowing our Bushong genealogy, we can say with absolute certainty, we are a white, protestant, and predominantly middle class family. But like most white American families, we have become too fearful and too conservative. In life, there can be valid reasons for being conservative, with our choices. It easy to visualize needs and pressures to conserve, and to be conservative. But when considered, virtually every instance of needing to be conservative, can be attributed to a lack of information or lack of knowledge. This incomplete knowledge is caused by either not enough or sometimes too many details. It's a lack of understanding that inevitably creates worry and fear, which can come from many things. As examples: the fear of running out, or fear of the unknown, or the fear of a stranger, or fear of terrorism and so on. But always fear is a constant. It can develop into other reflexive reactions, like tribalism, which underlies racism, and there are racists in the Bushong family. But the tribalistic fears that can direct so much of our lives, will have to be a topic for another day. Suffice to say, regardless if it's over another tribe, or a different looking people, or their religion, or their native tongue, if we give in to those fears, then we end up living in fear.

But returning to conservatism, we should be able to agree that conservatives have to approach things from the side of caution. Could that be so wrong? Yet, in contrast, our immigrant ancestors weren't conservative, otherwise they would have stayed in Europe. Our Revolutionary ancestors weren't conservative either, otherwise they would have been Tories and stayed loyal to their King. Yet our conservative fears come with a high price, because, and this is important, by being so cautious, we have a predisposition to "believe the rumor". It's safety first! But that means we believe almost anything. The result is our conservatism has lead to us becoming highly gullible and easily manipulated, which the partisans love.

A good example of our conservative gullibility, comes from the relatively new phenomenon of "Fake News". These false and fabricated stories are written and published on the internet with often sensational headlines, solely for one purpose, to get the viewer to click on and open a page. These companies make their money by enticing viewers to visit their sites where there are advertisements. They are paid per visit or per click, hence the term "click bait". Do you know who's their biggest customers? Us conservatives. Remember, we believe the rumor. How many of us believe some or most of these fake news stories, like "Pizzagate" even after they are publicly debunked? How many of us ever check and find that the stories are fabricated? And this is a fact, the fake news stories are 99% slanted towards Conservatives and their Republican readers. Why? Because by the fake news companies' own admissions, fake stories don't work with Liberal readers who see right through their deception. Bottom line is, Fake News companies make no money from fooling liberals, because they can't, and they make all their money hoodwinking gullible people who believe the rumor, (or anything), and that's us conservatives and the Bushong family. Not convinced? Then study it a bit, here, Forbes Magazine, or here Washington Post, or dozens of other sites.

We've Been Duped

Our fear driven conservatism and gullibility has lead the majority of us Bushongs and our country as well, into being duped. We've been duped big-time by the media, the corporations, and the conservative politicians. Gullibility played easily into the media's simple manipulations that have distorted the opinions of the entire country. The media and their corporate owners have been telling us what's important, only for them and conveniently forgetting what doesn't help their businesses. There are many examples, starting with the last election? Coming from all directions and not just the media, but Russian cyberspies, leaked emails, FBI announcements, and on and on. Someone was trying to influence us. And it worked, too.

Take for instance how they made nearly everyone hate Hillary and convinced most of us her use of a dedicated and private server, for government business was a crime. Even my own son, (who did not vote for Trump) says "Hillary should be in jail." The majority of all Bushongs and Americans now believe this, even though, the FBI concluded she did not break the law, and she had no criminal intent to damage national security. In addition when the data was assessed, there was no serious information involved. But that's not what most of us and America thinks. So why jail her?

If we put into perspective what the Clinton email security scandal really was, by comparing it with the other instances when the same "offense" occurred, we can see how insignificant it really was. Either that or a bunch of other people should be jailed. Their heavy manipulation changed public sentiment. But in the numerous other instances of failed email security, with Republicans, there was only silence. Take for instance, President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of State Colin Powell, as well as lessor players, like Carl Rove, Sarah Palin, Chris Christie, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal and Martin O’Malley. All used unsecured email servers with hardly a blip on the news, and no "scandal" for any of them, yet for most, it occurred when the country was on a war footing, with Al Queda, Afghanistan and Iraq. Not only that, going back to January 1, 2003, the Bush administration lost 22 million, classified and sensitive emails. Read it on Newsweek. Should they be jailed? They lost them when the Republican Bush administration was drumming the country to war! Then there's former General and CIA Director David Petraeus, who was actually convicted of mishandling and leaking top secret documents! Read it on Wikipedia. He knowingly leaked America's top secrets to a woman he was having an affair with. Should he be jailed? Petraeus did it on purpose and was only sentenced to probation. So now just like a Fake News story, the media has convinced us Hillary should be hated and jailed? There are indeed other examples than emails, such as Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation, and high speaking fees. Each media driven story further implicates them in a gross and systematic manipulation of Clinton's public image. All of these, when put in perspective, are truly laughable for the obvious "yellow journalism" they were. But they accomplished their goals and now most of America and us Bushong's hate Hillary. The bottom line is we were duped!

Changing the Status-Quo

That constant fear that drives our conservatism is what has fueled much of our anger, frustration, and resentment at our politicians and our system of democracy. It has resulted in "better to do nothing" approach, which is the political stagnation that people now see as the status-quo. So most of us voted against the status-quo, believing since a Democrat was President, then Democrats embodied our country's government. The painful irony is that it was a Republican controlled House and Senate that were preventing real change! Perhaps the biggest factor leading to the status-quo is a our judicial branch of the of government. That's the lower judges, all the way up. From party appointments, they are predominately conservative and in fact, since 1969, for 49 years, the Supreme Court, has been tilted to the right. They've been interpreting the laws of our land, not as we should expect, through an even and unbiased approach, but rather with a completely conservative bias. This began when President Nixon appointed four Supreme Court Justices, who all were decidedly conservative. It abruptly tilted things way to the right, in complete disregard of the ongoing social revolution, known as the "sixties". Tired of the status-quo? The Supreme Court has been and now will continue to be the status-quo for likely decades to come.

The results have been a steady stream of decisions, that have chipped away at not only social, but economic advancement, With every new legal decision, issues such as Abortion Rights are being whittled away, as well as Affirmative Action which has been done away with altogether. Then there's the Assault weapons ban that was overturned, and on and on.

Their regressive interpretations of the law and the constitution, are slowly stealing away legal, political, and financial power from us, the working class. The court's pro-business and corporate biases continue to limit our access to the courts, and have made it much harder for consumers and employees to sue businesses. That means us! They have also legally restricted class action suits, by forcing binding arbitration. And with that, there goes our right to trial by jury, at least when it's against the corporations. Possibly the most heinous Supreme Court decision, aside from stopping the Florida recount in 2000, is about Citizens United. With it, the corporations now have most of the same rights as we do, only they have a lot more money that they can spend on the candidates, that will make them even more money. Giving the corporations those kind of rights is dead wrong, because a corporation is always concerned first with profit, and not what is good for our country. It's steady and never ending, and it can only be imagined how many more rights will disappear in the ensuing years, all decreed by the conservative court. How many more years will it be? Another 49? The rest of our lives??
Economy - Jobs

Then it seems most of us think Republicans are good for business and our economy. A simple philosophy where businessman, with less taxes and regulations, will make more jobs. But look at the chart on the right, it tells a completely different story...

Here's the facts. Republicans are terrible for economic growth or more jobs. Simply terrible. In the last 70 years they have never even come close to matching the Democrats for job growth and their policies have cost us literally millions of job! Yet for generation after generation they continue to dupe us into thinking their plans are good for us - the working class. Trickle down economy? As the chart confirms, for almost seventy years, they've been using the same tired ideas that haven't worked, and ended up only enriching a very few people and the corporations. All at our expense, siphoning money and starving public education and services used by us, the middle class. We have been loosing ground because we have been duped.
What have we done?

Now we've elected and handed power to possibly the most unprepared and undeserving president, (and his billionaire cronies), in the history of our great country. There can be no second thoughts, and no thinking we've only got to get through four years until we can get another chance. The Supreme Court has life-time appointments, and they will continue supporting the corporations. And we can't even think about our new Vice President, who is homo phobic, wants to overturn Roe v. Wade and still thinks the earth is only 6,000 years old. He is obviously a man who not only disregards science but rational thinking as well. Neither of them are prepared and neither are qualified.

Now, we can only watch, in the next four years, how much of our country's wealth, either through tax cuts or government contracts, will disappear. And it will all go to the big corporations and the billionaires. It will be trillions of dollars and will amount to the largest shift in wealth, in the history of man. Our cities, our towns, our society, and our Bushong family will be poorer, and we'll still be living with the same conservative fears. We will be diminished while the corporations and the elites, will get stronger and richer, especially after all the massive tax cuts and government contracts, laden with pork. In the end there will be only one glaring truth for us to finally realize. We will have become less of a country and more of a business. And when that happens, we, "the little people", as we've been called, will have to admit, we are the business.

It won't matter, if our government builds a wall, makes more weapons, cruise missiles, atomic bombs, ships and planes, or builds more prisons, it will only benefit and enrichen the corporations and billionaires. We'll have nothing to show for it. We won't feel safer and we won't be any safer. Not only that, we won't be able to offer our children good educations. And when you think about it, isn't there more and more information and more to learn every day? It seems like we'd be smarter spending more money on our kids, and educating them. Then they could solve some of our problems? But now educational and social services get bleaker. Because after all, the money for the tax cuts and walls has to come from somewhere.

We Need to Grade Politicians and Our President

In order to keep from getting fooled so easily this time, let's come up in advance with ways to grade our new 45th President, the gang of rich old white guys he filled his administration with, as well as all the other politicians we voted into office. We need to decide if our families' lives and ours are better at the end of four years. Is it jobs, financial stability, and education perhaps? Is it peace and freedom from terrorism? By establishing these, we can objectively appraise the success of our the party's leadership and ideas. Some things could be directly measured, yet others might be more esoteric.
  • Are there more and better paying jobs for us and our children?
  • Is the American economy stronger, with lower unemployment and higher gross domestic production?
  • Did the ultra rich increase their percent of the world's wealth?
  • Did the American middle class grow?
  • Has the middle class' income grown? Is it keeping up with inflation?
  • How many scandals involved the White House and its administration?
  • How many wars, if any will we have been involved with, in four years?
  • How many acts of terrorism were there on American soil?
  • How many gun deaths per year?
  • How many teachers are there per student in our public schools?
  • Math, science and other test scores - how do we compare worldwide?
  • What percent of our children are graduating from trade schools and college?
  • A Woman's Right to Choose, increasing or decreasing?
  • Homophobia, increasing or decreasing?
  • Racism, increasing or decreasing?
  • Have the effects of global climate change gotten worse or better?
  • And perhaps most telling, how many Bushong baby boys will be named "Donald Trump Bushong"?
A Better Future

I believe there's a better future for us, and we can make it ours. There's many examples of our families, our societies, our countries and the entire world coming together to solve problems large and small, like the ones we're facing. It's done with education, awareness, and a united, non-partisan determination to change things. Just a few examples: drunk driving, has been seriously reduced, the hole in the ozone has been almost completely reversed, thru fluorocarbon reduction, urban air quality is much better, homophobia is dissipating, and people aren't sent to jail for "life" over one bit of of marijuana. And looking back farther, Woman's Right to Choose, the woman's vote, all the way back to slavery. We've shown we can grow and advance our family's and country's quality of life over and over, so there's no reason to think we can't overcome our present deficit. Then all of us can win.
Closing

So all I'm asking is for us to admit there's a possibility for a better country and future if we stop being so easily duped and being so partisan. It wouldn't take many, what was it? Only 170,000 votes in three states? But this means we do our duty and vote for the most fully qualified candidate, regardless of race, creed, or party. Regardless of whether we like a candidate. In doing so, we'll come together as a country, united in the understanding that the best way we can advance is together. Then our country and our families can thrive, one America and one will.

Thank your for your time and consideration.
Rick Bushong
Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017

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