Already “that man” is influencing my life. I turned on the TV before 8 a.m. on January 20 to watch the Inauguration. We never watch TV in the mornings, ever, and I can’t remember watching an inauguration before either, although I may have done so knowing it would be recapped, hashed over, and otherwise replayed for several days, in the past I’ve just depended on the media to inform me. But this time I decided I’d better watch first hand so I could know for sure what went on before I heard Bill Maher’s scathing replay, or Bill O’Reilly’s lauding of the event.
My friends, both in reality and those I’ve acquired on Facebook, are split almost half and half right and left. Makes for interesting conversation because I am really non-partisan and may argue either or both sides. Drives the hard-liners crazy. Lately, I’ve taken to scrolling past all political garbage on my news feed (that is Facebook talk for the page where friends’ comments appear). Both sides regurgitate all the same old stuff. Hopefully something new will come about in the next 100 days. And for sure the left will downplay it and the right will inflate it if it’s positive and vice-versa if it is not.
The only thing I learned for sure is that anyone who takes their marching orders from Michael Moore or Whoopie Goldberg (or any Entertainment guru for that matter) must really have no life. The media did a pretty good job of ignoring the tantrums, at least during the ceremonies. Nothing takes the wind out of a toddler’s sails faster than not getting any attention when he lays on the floor kicking and screaming. All media outlets reported that the rioting protestors were there only to be destructive, and 200 were arrested, as they should have been. Others presented their protests in a more acceptable manner and were recognized as having a legitimate cause. Could “adulting” be the first great change we experience?
The acceptance speech was also a point of argument. The Left thought it wasn’t lofty enough: not many polysyallabic words. The Right heard “Let’s get it done!” Frankly, I heard a lot of “We will overcome” and not too much “I will save you,” which was different, if not any more enlightening. Eight years ago we listened to a man determined to “bring hope and change” and that theme permeated the next inaugural also. This time we heard a man who wants to “fix everything.” It could happen, or not.
A couple of weeks removed from the hoopla, all I see is a lot of nit-picking from the left who don’t seem to be able to practice what they preach. They are painting the kettle with a pretty broad brush. From the right we get a lot of that “we won” jaunt they so despised in the last administration coupled with a Pollyanna smile. I hope we see a little “let’s get on with it” from both sides. Maybe rather than labeling people “Snowflakes” and “Dreamers” or “Racists” and “Deplorables” if we expected them to create a working relationship they’d surprise even themselves. Didn’t somebody say “a house divided cannot stand”?
And that, friends, is the end of my political rants for the year. There is a lot more important stuff out there. The weather, for instance. I am offended that for the past several years Alaska had not seen a good old winter and not a mention was made of it in the National news. Maybe one comment buried somewhere in the last 30 seconds of a weather report that Anchorage was warmer than Cleveland or somewhere but where was the concern for our dog races, or our ski slopes, or just for our pride in being able to brag about how cold it was. Then, this year, the other 49 gets a few snowflakes and temperatures near zero and the press is all over it. Sheesh! Finally, Alaska gets winter back, and someplace in Idaho gets credit for being the coldest place in the U.S. on the day Delta hit -70. Talk about biased press!
That day, when I brought up Facebook, at the top of the page was Granddaughter No. 6 and friends in their (almost) bikinis standing in front of the electronic temperature board reading -47 on the UAF campus to celebrate being initiated into the 40 Below Club. They exhibited the good sense kids in the Interior are raised with and all had on good heavy boots. When I mentioned it to her Dad (No. 1 Son) his comment was “I never did that.” I had to remind him that when he was there, streaking was in vogue and I remember reports! At the time he swore it was not him, but who really knows?
And so it goes. We have become very insular in our outlook these past eight years. Time for a deep breath and “Charge!” In polysyllabic, that’s “Tally-ho. “
Virginia Walters lives in Kenai. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.