The political season has officially broken out the gates with the first round of truth-or-dare coming about 8:30 the evening of Aug. 7, the day of the primary election.
Some of the best “I lost but I didn’t really lose” press releases floated across my computer screen the following morning.
The tortured syntax involved in these political high-wire acts goes something like “I won, I won… kind of… (I got my head handed to me on a plate but I think my mom still likes me… maybe).”
Don’t count on it.
Harry Truman was right. If you want a friend get a dog – a little one – preferably one that can’t consider you a Lunchable if you lose the race for the big tuna.
Next comes the great debate by the self-appointed truth tellers.
This is a wonderful time to be a very good listener and very discerning thinker. It is essential all voices are heard. This is critical. It is equally important for all to think independently and question… ourselves as well as each other.
Group think tanks abound nationally and at home.
I hear folks in the communities I cover tell my how tired they are of this activist or that agenda.
I understand the frustration, but political activists must use high-altitude rhetoric. If an activists sound like a diplomat negotiating breaks on buttermilk tariffs no one will listen, or care.
In American politics, at both a national and community level, there is a place for hyperbole and hysteria. The discerning listener is the key to this equation.
Because someone is angry and throws fireball verbs, doesn’t make that person right… or wrong.
Anger is often used to justify poorly-posited positions, but I have found every once in a while that annoying angry guy is right.
I believe in language; what is said and how it is said matters.
I do not romanticize about the ideals of the power of the people or the evil state or other rhetorical nonsense. In politics and life, people are complex in their motivations. What they say and how they say it, if listened to carefully, will reveal what they mean.
The beating heart of political action is all too often simply revenge by other words.
Through many years of covering and observing political races at all levels I have learned our Constitution can withstand the best we have and the worst.
Not because it was written by God, but because it was written by thoughtful, independent thinkers, who often did not agree on the shade of the sky, or anything else. But they came up with a system that can withstand the worst and excel with the best.
One vote, one woman, one man… it means just that.