Thanks to you readers who have written to the News-Journal recently to express your political beliefs. I especially appreciated Jeni Smith’s civil tone in her letter. I did run for mayor of Frog Holler but Romeo, the jackass, created a smear campaign against me and got out the frog vote, a constituency that I could not communicate with. Their numbers were overwhelming. Maybe next time!
I understand that you who disagree with my viewpoints get tired of reading my political columns. I have many good friends who cringe when they read them and several regularly comment to me personally and voice their disagreement. I encourage them to write down their opinions and send them in for publication, but most do not. Many prefer the more light-hearted and politically neutral things that I write. In truth, so do I, but I ask you to consider what you would write about if you were supplying 750 words to a newspaper each week. For me, I write everything I can think of that I believe would be even mildly interesting to the readers. I appreciate all of you who read my words.
As I navigate my life, even though I try to avoid more than a few minutes of news from a couple of reliable sources each day, I cannot avoid being barraged by President Trump’s name, face and words. His affinity for being on camera, and in the media, dominates the news. I commented on day one of Trump’s term that the best thing he could do was keep quiet, do the job and let his actions speak for themselves. He has done anything but that. Yes, much of the media is biased against Trump, but why? He continues to make reckless and potentially dangerous comments to the American people, with his own experts sitting in the background eager to correct his misinformation. If you don’t see this, then I must question who is being biased? If you have not witnessed this behavior, then I question your sense of responsibility as an informed citizen. It is plain to see.
I understand that many in our country watch biased news media on both sides as a spectator sport. If people think they are being good citizens by refusing to hear both sides of the story and sticking with their herd, I disagree. These people are who I am most concerned about. I would like to sit down with any extremist from either side, watch their media source of choice and question the content. I am not a liberal nor a conservative and I see good and bad in both agendas. In my columns, I really try hard to plant seeds for thought, not hammer my views. Of course, my views shine through but I criticize anything I write before I send it out for publication. Apparently, I often fail at this, but I feel a civic responsibility to try.
Finally, I have given Trump credit for some things he has done and continue to hope that he will be an effective President and leader. I would certainly like him to lead effectively on this virus issue.
And now, I find myself looking out the back window of our home in Frog Holler. It is early morning and will be a beautiful sunny day. Last night in the early morning hours, we had a severe storm for a short time and woke to find that Moore and Hoke counties were the focus of the state’s worst weather. No sign of it now! The sunrise has given way to low rays from the southeast that are playfully reflecting off the pool; still too cold for recreational swimming though it has been open for a month.
Yesterday, virus-estranged friends from Pinehurst brought their lawn chairs, drinks and dogs and sat 20 feet from the front porch for a couple of hours while we caught up on our sidetracked social lives. These particular friends are often at political odds with us, but we work to keep that from defining and ruining our friendship. We found plenty of common ground in our thankfulness for being sheltered from the worst of the pandemic and the wonderful isolation of Frog Holler. We invited them back for some social distance hiking with the dogs and I hope they take us up on it. Thankfully, neither the pandemic, nor politics, has done anything to reduce our appreciation of our quiet country lifestyle.