Claudia Myers column: Let’s talk politics, or not – Duluth News Tribune

This is something I vowed not to do because I didn’t want to have half my readers circulating a petition to remove me and the other half posting on Facebook that I really could have come out more strongly in favor of what-is-his/what-is-his-name and where was my loyalty to my party anyway? But I think it’s time for me to stand up and get involved.

Claudia Myers.jpg

Claudia Myers

Oh, wait, that’s not even November, right? Oh, whew! I have a reprieve.

Anyway, I was thinking about our founding fathers and how puzzled they would be if they were somehow observing the American eccentricities that accompany the election of today’s leaders. I’m not talking about the actual voting, counting, and election. I’m talking about all the crap that goes along with it.

I mean, can you really see Benjamin Franklin drinking his morning beverage from a mug with Jesse Ventura’s face on it? Or a bunch of “Re-Elect Caine” signs stuck in Mount Vernon Park? Oh, for example, could you see Thomas Jefferson attending a political rally wearing his best “partisan” shirt because he wanted to emphasize that he and his chosen candidate were on the same page?

Then he comes home with a sore throat from screaming and a dark eye from being punched from the “other side.” And he still doesn’t know any more than he knew before he left, about where his candidate stands on the issues he thinks are important because there’s been so much heckling and yelling and protests going on. Crap, yes, but scary enough to keep me up at night.

I started this column about two months ago in response to a friend’s Facebook post. In essence, he was quoting someone who said that the reason the average American doesn’t know about our government and politics in general is because we avoid talking about those topics.

My reaction at the time was: “We’re not doing this for a very good reason!” Then I put it aside because I realized that “talking about politics” is actually an oxymoron because you can’t do that. Really, you can’t.

Even in the past when both sides either 1. tolerated each other, or 2. ignored each other, it wasn’t really possible to have a reasonable discussion. In politics and religion too, you are not talking about an ordinary topic, but you are trying to convince the person you are talking to, that he should wake up and start thinking the way you think.

You may not realize that this is what you are doing or you may be completely aware of it and this was your goal in the first place, but it is what you do. Then the other person answers with his or her opinion, at a level just a few decibels higher, yatta, yatta, yatta! The dog quickly slips out of the room due to the excessive screaming and thinks it is his fault.

At the same time, you are both amazed at the level of ignorance the other person is displaying. How could they be so gullible when you always thought they were so smart? They don’t really believe what they’re saying, do they? Yes. Yes they can.

Either we have come a long way, or we have descended into the depths of chaos, depending on how you view today’s political cycle. It also depends on which newscast you are listening to. I’m afraid our news programs have become completely unpopular since the days of Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Moreau, who gave us news and news only.

It’s more entertainment, where the fake celebrities target a specific audience and tell them what they want to hear, which leads both sides to believe they got it right because they heard it on their TV or computer and the powers that be would never put anything other than the truth “On their network, right? They would never do that, no way! They would? You shocked me!”

I’ve been pretty much Pollyanna, Little Mary Sunshine, the “the sun will rise tomorrow” person for most of my life, but I have to tell you I don’t see a good way out of all of this. Has anyone seen the missing “glass half full”? That’s my only suggestion and it’s a “doozy”. ready?

No election campaigns. no one. No marches, no TV ads, no “in-depth” interviews, no catwalks or prime-time debates. No T-shirts or hats, no political buttons or yard signs. No polls!

Instead, each candidate must write a short essay about their vision, plans, and beliefs. No ghost writers, no help from their children, no political parties, no endorsements. Every registered voter gets a copy and they decide who to vote for, based on these personal writings. Then everyone votes. Whoever gets the most votes wins. a period. No complaining, whining or posturing is allowed.

What do you think? Yes, totally unrealistic, I know. But wouldn’t it be very refreshing? I felt much better for a few minutes there. Maybe you did too.

Claudia Myers retired from designing and building costumes for the Baltimore Opera and the Minnesota Ballet. She is a nationally award-winning quilt maker, author, and local antiques dealer, specializing in Persian rugs. Her book “The Storyteller” is available at claudiamyersdesigns.com and at Father Time Antiques in Duluth’s Canal Park.

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