Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Respect and Responsibility

Saturday morning, I walked to the post office – a five mile round trip from my house. When I set out, I was in high spirits. That changed when I reached the river bank bike path near the Owosso Bridge.

Vandals had spray-painted every sign and the path as well. Such a disrespectful display of ignorance! I wanted to shake the culprits.

I tried to report the vandalism to the parks department, but they want me to make a police report. I can’t be the first who noticed. Do they need my name, birthday and driver’s license number for something like this?

But those juvenile actions are only a symptom of the general disrespect in our society today.

I’m dismayed that our political process has descended to name-calling and hatefulness. I’m terrified that Trump is the incarnation of Hitler. I’m appalled that Sanders did not rebuke his supporters for their violent actions at the Nevada convention. I’m offended that Hillary couldn’t even make an appearance in Oregon before the primary.

For a brief moment, I considered stopping my paper and ignoring the news until December.

Then I remembered. In the 1930s, decent Germans ignored or hid from reality. They went about their daily lives, oblivious to the fires of hell burning around them.

Yet what can we do? Our country is not – never has been – a true democracy. What I would like to see is a new electoral process. Institute a nation-wide presidential primary, preferably in late spring or early summer. Eliminate the Electoral College and make every vote count, whether in New Hampshire or Oregon.

Probably not going to happen. Still, I have to stand up for my beliefs. If that means filling out a police report, I gotta do it.

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