Just the facts, Ma’am

I am trying to not get involved in politics. It’s pretty tough.

Today, at  birthday luncheon, someone mentioned the Republican Convention. Now, these are all gray-haired old ladies. Does the fact that we were celebrating one of our member’s  94th birthday tell you our approximate age? (Okay, I’ve never made a secret of the fact that I wasn’t born yesterday.)

Immediately, someone said…well, never mind. Then someone disagreed. Then a third person suggested we not talk about politics during what was a celebration.

Silence reigned. Then someone said…

You know how it goes. Everyone has a opinion and no one is willing to listen to anyone else.

I’ve been keeping my head down and writing. But it’s hard not to pay attention to what is going on. In fact, we should all be paying attention.

One thing you learn fairly quickly if you are a writer is to check the facts. This is especially important when you write historical fiction, but it’s true in any genre. Get a fact wrong and some alert reader will be sure to fire off an e-mail pointing out your error.

Yet facts seem to go flying off the page this electoral season. Yes, there are fact checkers who try to keep us all on the straight and narrow, but it seems to me the only people reading the results are the few whose minds are not so closed that any fact that disagrees with their mindset rolls off them like butter off a hot biscuit.

At least in my crowd we are trying to be civil and not throw a punch (not that any of us could without seriously injuring ourselves). A sniff and an eye-roll suffice.

My hope is that once the election is over, we can step back and accept victory or defeat gracefully and join together to address the real problems that face this nation–inequality, poverty, health care, a crumbling infrastructure, and the price of e-books.









3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. CristineGzr
    Jul 24, 2016 @ 06:53:16

    Very well said, Sandy. A thoughtful post for troubling times.

    I am reminded of two people using the same passage from the Bible –one to justify war and the other for peace. Both sides ‘adjust’ the verse to their purpose and the listeners eagerly hear what the want to hear.

    After the 2008 election, I heard people use words and phrases I’d only read –like uppity, shuffling and worse. It’s as though they reached into the storage boxes of their childhoods in the 40’s, 50’s and some even earlier to voice their anger. I wondered why?

    I realized that we fall back on the vocabulary of childhood when we are scared. And children are scared of what they don’t know or understand. And then we should eventually grow up. We learn to not rely on the anger of others to fuel our fears. We take pause to learn about the thing we fear, to understand a people, religion or neighbor who is different.


  2. Ashantay Peters
    Jul 24, 2016 @ 08:23:14

    Beautifully written opinion and comment, Sandy and Cris. We’ve forgotten that Congress and Senate were meant to be representatives of the people, not their leaders. Once we abdicated our responsibility and chose to cower in fear, we created the government we have. It’s not easy to face our fears, but we must in order to create a better world.


  3. rtgmath (Raymond Griffith)
    Jul 24, 2016 @ 18:27:14

    I appreciate your perspective, Sandy. It is a strange and scary world we live in, with all the hate and insanity abounding. Keep sane!


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