Friday, 30 June 2017 07:42
A light shines on Billy Tauzin's Yellow Brick Road
 
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tauzin yellow“It is mean, it is ugly, it is hateful politics as I've ever seen it. And and it's bringing this country down instead of lifting us up”. 

Those were the words of Louisiana Congressman Billy Tauzin, Wednesday afternoon, as Jim Brown and I talked “looking back and looking forward” with one of my favorite local elected officials. 

Billy, as just about everyone calls Congressman Tauzin, spent twenty-five years in Congress and was Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce which had oversight over telecommunications, Internet-related matters.  At that time, the digital super highway was a toddler. 

Given my own focus upon everything Internet over the past three decades or so, I really enjoyed watching the Cajun for Chackbay, during that time period, deal with the likes of the growing industry and tackle the important high-tech issues of the day. 

So, it was my extra pleasure to use some of my new technology (Facebook Live interviews with multi-parties, multi-locations streaming to multi-Facebook pages simultaneously) to catch up with Tauzin.  It has been after years. 

Moments into the discussion with Brown, Tauzin, a man of energy abundance, humor and optimism, discussed a part of his life that if we were similarly impacted would deflate the hopes of us all.  

“Left Congress to fight killer cancer, they gave me less than 1% chance to live.  And the instructions-- to give up my political career and head on down to Baltimore John Hopkins eventually the MD Anderson and asked for a hell of a year a fight we finally beat it”. 

The illness had a major impact upon him, thus, he wanted to give back. 

“And that's kind of why I ended up at PhRMA and I really it was sort of a payback time for me. They saved my life without question.  And I owe them my service I gave it to them for about five and a half years”. 

PhRMA is the very powerful pharmaceutical industry organization. Tauzin became its President and CEO and led the organization during the Affordable Care Act, aka, Obamacare formation days . 

Tauzin is owner of Tauzin Strategic Networks. He also is working with his son Billy III up in Washington DC. As one would imagine, he is still very involved in the inner dealings of Congress. 

Give his years in the state legislature and then as a Congressman, he’s seen a thing or two.  He is a former Democrat, turned Republican and has been on both sides of the political street.  In fact, he’s writing a book entitled “Politics on a Yellow Brick Road”.  Why has he chosen that title, one that blends a radiant outlook with that of caution? 

“I'm writing a book entitled of politics on a yellow brick road and it's an interesting title and it comes from actually a physician when I was considering whether to leave the Democratic Party enjoying the Republican Party, he asked me about my mental attitude how was I going to figure out where I belong, and I remember telling him in jest something very unpolitical, certainly not PC”, Tauzin said.  “What I said was, you know I feel like the little girl in the yellow brick road one hand, at a party that desperately needed a brain and the that desperately needed a heart and neither one had much courage to change,

 and we had a good laugh over it”.

Tauzin said the book’s title “…comes from actually a physician when I was considering whether to leave the Democratic Party enjoying the Republican Party he asked me you know about my mental attitude how was I going to figure out where I belong”, he said.   “And I remember telling him in jest something very unpolitical, certainly not PC, what I said was you know I feel like the little girl in the yellow brick road one hand at a party that desperately needed a brain and the that desperately needed a heart and neither one had much courage to change and we had a good laugh over it”. 

That description might tell us all we need to know about what’s actually going on in Washington DC.  Without naming the respective political parties, Tauzin said, “A lot of people see the two parties they see one is being not not enough concerned about those in our country who are less fortunate and the other, they see the party of being less less less intelligent about how to get this country growing again now to create jobs and good economy”. 

Whether one likes Billy’s description, it’s hard to argue that it’s not accurate, at least in terms of the public perception of the Democratic and the Republican Parties.

Which stated party differences might also explain the deep political divide scarring the nation. 

Tauzin said, “So there's a there's a lot of angst about both parties right now and think in America as they see them you know fighting instead of cooperating on important national goals.

“It has gotten as bad as I've ever seen it and in the book I'm going to describe how we got there and frankly I'm gonna offer some interesting ideas about how to get back to normal in America because what we're seeing in Washington DC is horribly abnormal right now”. 

Such an observation would be indeed worrisome for any one of us. It would especially be so for a man, a politician, a former Congressman usually emanating hope always eyeing the light shining down the road. 

“it is mean, it is ugly, it is hateful politics as I've ever seen it. And and it's bringing this country down instead of lifting us up”. 

Indeed, a somber thought for a nation once known for its roads supposedly paved in gold.

 

Above is the entire video of part I of the Facebook Live discussion.

Last modified on Friday, 30 June 2017 12:10
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