Scranton: Thanks — I guess?
For Craig Press
Tis the season to be thankful, but it sure seems like there isn’t much to be giving thanks for on the political front this year — unless you look really, really hard.
Were you expecting a red wave? Inflation is outta control, gas prices are surging, it appears that our current leadership is bungling more than just speeches, the world is laughing at us, and certainly not taking us seriously.
But promising to pay for student loans and scaring younger people about abortion seemed to work for the party of handouts and freebies. Some reports say that the under 30s went for Democrats upwards of plus-28 points. That kind of voting will stop any kind of potential electoral wave.
So the wave ended up trickling in as a takeover of the House with the Senate remaining largely unchanged even though some of the races that Republicans lost make you shake your head. But the American people have spoken (and voting machines too!) and it’s time to move on and watch what will happen leading up to the big election in 2024. We now know former President Donald Trump has put his hat in the presidential ring and caused more than a few heads to explode.
Politicians, pundits and prognosticators will be telling us how the 2024 election will be the most important in history, but the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 was pretty important as was just about every single election since our Republic began. Maybe that’s something to be thankful for: that course corrections are more the norm than the exception in our great experiment in democracy.
Maybe our country is split right down the middle politically, and this will be the way elections are hammered out for the next many cycles. The way we treat those who aren’t of our particular political persuasion is a big reason people don’t vote issues as much as how much they hate the person they refuse to vote for (based upon principle, of course). No politician has been a bastion of honesty and forthrightness since George Washington or “Honest Abe,” but we’ve certainly become a more harshly judgmental electorate over the past four years.
Give some credit to the image makers and algorithm inventors that have mastered the art of making sure we see just exactly what they present, and if we differ or try to find some alternative views, we are most certainly a fringe weirdo or conspiracy theorist, maybe even a half-baked, neo-fascist bent on destroying America.
You say too much, dig too deep or tell the wrong joke, and some social media troller will flex their keyboard muscles and muster up enough dislikes to have you canceled.
Maybe there isn’t as much to be thankful for on the free speech and political front this year, but knowing full well that this grand experiment will continue gives one hope that eventually we will get it right and we actually do more often than not! Besides, Twitter is being re-claimed for free speech (no, not just the speech you agree with), Meta is laying off workers, Tik Tok is being investigated, and the wide variety of social media platforms are approaching competitive levels. We should be thankful!
Rest, relax, have some dinner around the table, speak your mind and listen this Thanksgiving. Let those who you care about know how much you are thankful for them. Put away your device and I guarantee you will be happier, more thankful, and the days ahead will look brighter!
Have a great Thanksgiving and thanks for reading — even if you don’t agree!
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