Is cruelty really necessary in politics? In the days following State Auditor Tom Schweich’s suicide, the prevailing message was that he was deeply troubled by anti-Semitic remarks directed toward his family in a whispering campaign – nothing public, just whispered rumors – and a radio commercial that compared him to a certain fictional deputy. Sticks and stones. But is it really necessary?
That particular election – the August 4 primary – was a long way off at the time of Schweich’s death and yet the mud slinging had begun.
What would happen if candidates were forced to stand on their own records and be judged by the successes they had achieved on behalf of the people they served, rather than slinging mud? What if, instead of political gridlock, we had cooperation in government and progress for the American people? Would we then find that we actually had people running for office who were worthy of our respect and our vote? Could we then vote for the best candidate rather than the lesser of two evils?
We teach our children that bullying is bad. But, as adults, we are quick to gossip and to be unkind, judgmental and rude. What if, as adults, we chose to be kind? Would the nightly news be easier to watch? Could we erase some of the ignorance, prejudice, violence and hate if simply chose understanding, acceptance, peace and love?
What would it hurt to try?
• • •
As the old adage says, you can’t change crazy. And let’s face it: Terrorists are crazy. People who are willing to kill themselves and others in the name of God are crazy. No where in God’s word will you find the message, “Now, go forth and kill each other,” but you will find this message: “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” And this one: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
The terrorists will never accept or understand these messages, so maybe it’s time we stop supporting terrorists – even those disguised as allies. Maybe its time to defend the United States against all enemies – foreign or domestic. Maybe it’s time to put America – her troops, her residents and her shores – first.
• • •
Ferguson happened. It’s time to learn from our mistakes and move on. Racial profiling has to stop, but so does looting and property damage and acting like thugs. It’s not just black lives that matter – all lives matter. Business owners in Ferguson who are still trying to recover from the violence thrust upon them by bullies and thugs will tell you that their lives matter. So do their livelihoods and those of their employees, but no one seemed to care about them when the looting and burning began – destroying all that those business owners had worked to create. What’s the lesson to be learned?
It’s all about respect.
• • •
Enough of the heavy lifting. Here are few random thoughts of a lighter variety.
Winter could have been worse. So far, we have been lucky this winter, but those last frigid days of February and these first frigid days of March have made it hard to remember that it could have been much worse. We could have been Boston with 105-plus inches of snow. But we’re not Boston, and now spring is on its way. That’s some good news.
Here’s some more good news. Girl Scout cookies are here – and unavoidable. Even if you managed to sneak past coworkers who were pedaling cookies in the name of their daughters and kept your door closed to neighborhood tots, good luck getting by the enterprising young ladies with tables set up in front of local markets and stores. Once upon a time you could invoke the age-old excuse, “I’d love to buy some, but I haven’t any cash.” Not anymore. Today’s tech-savvy Scouts are quick with a new-age reply. “No problem, we have a card reader.”
So pass the Thin Mints – all this heavy thinking makes one hungry for chocolate.