Oh, it’s about to heat up. It’s almost like what Florida went through recently with hurricane Ian threatening. Some in Wyoming and right here in Platte County are having an urge to board up windows, hunker down and get ready to withstand the blast.
People were doing all kinds of preparing for the initial jolt of hurricane winds and rain and much ado is afoot here as we prepare for, brace for, hope for and pray for an event that will forever alter our history.
If you haven’t read the literature posted all over yards and highways and buildings and trucks and bumpers of cars lately, you might find reminders in your mailboxes that there is an election ensuing.
If you are one who doesn’t know about it with the million reminders, then “Yes, Virginia, there really is a Rip Van Winkle.”
In 36 days, many things will be decided. Not finished. Just decided. Although it may be longer for those who are demanding recounts of ballots. Eventually we will get back to some assemblance of normalcy, the beautiful landscapes will not be accompanied by commercials and perhaps people who are screaming at one another as they hide behind the shield of social media will once again realize that we are living in the same town with one another.
Not only before the election, but afterward. Be careful for collateral and irreparable damage.
We are community. We are a family. And we have had some of the fabric of who we are, torn from top to bottom. Families fighting against one another. Friends who won’t talk to one another. Establishments that you used to frequent; you won’t visit any more.
Politics. “the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power,” according to the Oxford Dictionary.
It’s been a dirty battle, not just in the last few years, but since time began. People have differing views that they feel, excuses the erratic and foul behavior. People say, at a Thanksgiving dinner table, don’t bring up politics or religion unless you want your Christmas to be lonely and void of presence. Yes, I do know how to spell it.
It’s not just differing views, but it’s a lack of respect for the views that people have. Many trying to make others not only see their persuasions, but adhere to them. And the anger begins when factions form to emotionally and verbally injure one another.
Spoiler alert: It’s not going to be over Nov. 9. This spirit that runs rampant will continue long after the votes are counted.
There will be a reprieve, however for a few years without the bashing, cajoling, commercials, arguing and silent treatments.
What a wonderful tradition could be started here in Wyoming if we could all get back to respecting family, agreeing to disagree, sitting down and speaking with one another instead of trying to hide our anger in plain sight. Perhaps offering olive branches to the opponents and simple handshakes to those who have opposed you would be what Wyoming is supposed to be all about.
Perhaps a hamburger at a local restaurant together or a dinner invitation to your home. What if this town saw the politicians breaking bread together? What if the people would see peace treaties from those in power. Would it not make things mendable in their own families?
The spirit of cooperation is working together to make us a better and stronger county. Perhaps we would even get to a point where the candidates would ride in the parade together. Or perhaps sit down and discuss issues face to face without having to call it a debate. Go to each other’s parties and functions without hushed whisperings. Support the events of a town without having to “one-up” each other.
Guess what? As townspeople, we not only have the power to vote, but we have the eyes to see what you do and the ears to hear what you say. We are not sheep and we can discern the positive from the toxic.
Scream at the spirit of the Gorbachev’s of this world, TEAR DOWN THIS WALL. We are no longer in junior high. We are adults and we should be able to find a way for the good of our communities. A way for the power we’d have to accomplish being united. For the sake of our families and fractured friendships.
You have to look back and see things like 9/11. Natural disasters. Critical moments in our history. What do you see? Democrats alongside of Republicans, black and white, rich and poor clearing the rubble, pulling bodies out of harm’s way, filling sand bags, handing out water and working together for the greater good. Making people in the fray feel safe and like things are eventually going to be OK.
What cataclysmic event will it take, Platte County for us to get there? The question should not be, “what do we have to do to win?” But rather, “What do we have to do to heal?”