A Little Worse For The Wear

editorial-logo3It is an interesting proposition, watching election outcomes peppered with the seven thousand strong march of immigrants toward our border followed by celebrations for Veteran’s Day. In the mist of all of the red, white and blue and all of the commentary on what should and shouldn’t be it is a little hard to get a hold of my inner patriot. Generally, I consider myself to be a fairly patriotic person. I have respect for the flag. I stand at attention for the National Anthem. I appreciate the sacrifices of those that have guarded our freedoms and those that fought first to insure them as our right. But, I must admit that nothing takes the wind out of my patriotic sails like the arguing of the Republicans and Democrats over what should be and what should not be for our country.

This past election was a nasty piece of political poo and I, for one, walked away a little worse for the wear. Nothing stamps out hope like listening to hours and hours of snarky campaign ads and endless commentary from pundits that are so blindsided by hatred that they can’t see the forest for the trees. It is true that we have a split in agendas in this country but we have always had a split in agendas. For the most part, it is not the regular citizen that harbors so much hate that it comes out as disrespectful gibberish. It is those that are supposed to offer insight to the average Joe that are using their positions in the spotlight to spew their lack of respect for this nation and her citizens.

In every election there is a winner and a loser. It is just the nature of the beast. And it is the responsibility of those who covet, horde and squander political power to be the best winner and loser that they can be because it is in those lessons that we grow toward something more palatable than just the left or the right. We become balanced, as a government and as citizens. In the real world, there is very little black and white. Most of us flounder in various shades of gray and understand the reality of extenuating circumstances. Those that cannot step back and see the other side of the path as just a slightly different means to reach the same destination are pulling our nation apart.

Statistically, our nation is browning. The racial divide that once existed, decades ago, is no more. There are more brown than white or black. How did we become brown? We are mixed in our heritage and our color more than we have ever been in the history of our country. Yet, those that love to divide would have us believe that the racial divide is deeper than ever. How so? Are we divided against our sons and daughters? Or cousins and friends? My eyes and statistics simply do not point to a nation that is more racially divided. It points to a nation that is more alike than it has even been but that doesn’t read well in the press and it is certainly more controversial to push racism. Much like it is more popular to promote sexism. Now we have groups actively trying to divide men and women. Why? I suppose there is an underlying political reason and it usually has to do with motivating the vote. Beware of those selling hatred. Their poison is more debilitating and vicious than any casting couch and it is carefully cloaked in righteousness. The hard truth is that hate has no boundaries and when you surround yourself with hate it will first cover you and then it will smother you.

Everyone has moments in their life that they remember, that evoked a feeling that never really leaves. For me, it was standing at the Old North Bridge one morning many years ago. So many times I had heard about the bridge where the shot heard around the world came from and the resulting war that brought us our freedom. We all know the story and yet it never really hit home until I was standing, looking at that unremarkable bridge. Near me was my son and my husband, my father and my brother. Had they lived in those days it would have likely been them that took up arms and defended that bridge. It would have been my guys who took the risk to make our family and our nation free. As fate would have it, it was not my guys but it was someone’s guys. Just regular men who fought for something that was greater than any one person but was won at the sacrifice of many one persons.

I am a responsible adult most of the time. I vote. I have convictions. I know that living in a nation of people means understanding their likeness and their differences. Or at least making the effort to try. The season of Thankfulness is upon us. Let’s let it start with Veteran’s Day.

Source: K. Depew, News Director