A post I wrote last week was sent to my local paper in Texas as a letter to the editor, and thus this second writing.
There’s nothing like jumping into a hornet’s nest expecting to escape unscathed. And I’m pretty certain my letter to the editor last week will ignite a horde of wasps’ venom directed at my sensitive self.
I’d love to say I have tough skin, but, nope, I don’t. As a reporter, in my younger days, I covered many hilarious, tragic, boring and scary stories, but most did not raise the ire of folks, so I escaped withering criticism. Local politics never seemed to reach the level of alarm gripping the people of the United States today.
Life back in the 60s and 70s in small town Texas wasn’t touched by the anger and venom that is prevalent today. Most of us were sheltered from the onslaught of screaming voices now blasted over television news, social media, and even coffee conversations.
It was a less noisy and cantankerous time, except for the Friday night football rivalries. But today, we are all feeling embattled. Most of us weary and emotionally wrung out, wishing we could ‘all just get along’ as police beating victim Rodney King urged back in 1992 in Los Angeles.
But times have changed. Those voices that once didn’t reach us now continually impose on our peace, and it is impossible to remain informed while keeping our balance and our sanity. Our fear about our country’s future is obvious in the letters to the editor found in most newspapers, large and small, today. Both sides blaming the other, criticizing and thus alienating, afraid if we concede on one point the other side will win.
What are we to do? How do we build a bridge that allows access from both banks of this political river? I wish I had the magic answer, but as my first boss would often say when asked a question about the future, “If I was a soothsayer, I’d say some sooth.”
No sooth is flowing from me, but I do have a belief that the American people will chart a course that will keep our country strong and a world leader for justice, goodness, fairness and equality fighting against oppression, greediness, and dishonesty.
Who doesn’t want that?