BY MARCY SHORTUSE- Welcome to the ninth year of 2020. I think everyone who lives in this country deserves a spa day, a bubble bath, a two-week fishing trip … whatever makes each of you the happiest. We walked into this in January like it was any other year, and we came out looking like we had spent half our life working in a coal mine on the surface of Mars. You know how presidents look before and after taking office? Yep, that’s us.
This week has been a very long one. Political ads, flags flying from overpasses, constant spam calls, backbiting amongst friends, people disappearing from Facebook friends’ lists. It’s just nuts what we have become.
As I sit and write this on a Wednesday night, I have no clue who will be our next president, and we may not know for another 24 hours or more. If there was ever a year where we didn’t need a lot more stress added into the mix, this was it. But, it’s 2020. So, of course … yeah. More stress.
Wise people say whenever there is a trying time, there’s a lesson to be learned. I agree with that, but the general population doesn’t seem to be interested in learning any lessons right now – they seem to be more interested in being right at any cost.
I had to travel to Port Charlotte this week, which is an unusual occurrence for me as of late as I’ve had some issues that have had me working from home. I got on 776 and found myself in two lanes of non-stop traffic. People weaving in and out, going 70 mph in a 55 zone, road rage coming from multiple cars and fire trucks and ambulances were all around. It was like being in a scene from The Purge.
People are restless and agitated, and they have every right to be. We are worn thin by troubles coming from many sources. This year we’ve had a pandemic and quarantine that turned political, racial equality issues that were, of course, political, and now a very vexing presidential race. Everyone has taken very clear sides on these issues, and everyone thinks they are right.
Nobody’s right, if everybody’s wrong.
Those are the words of a song from 1966 performed by Buffalo Springfield and written by Steven Stills called “For What it’s Worth.” That song is very apt for this year
What I have found is that the only thing a Democrat dislikes more than a Republican right now, and vice versa, is someone who is chaotic neutral … like me. I have been called some very derisive names by both sides, for leaning a little too far one way or the other simply because I was not firmly planted on either side.
You know what? That’s fine. My skin is as thick as a steak at Denny’s.
But eventually, no matter who is president or how long this virus sticks around, if people continue on the path they are taking, there will be a revolution. Some people may relish the thought, others don’t believe it will happen. Believe it or not, it’s definitely in the air right now.
Some say this year was the catalyst for drastic change, and drastic change in a free country can only be facilitated through some sort of Civil War. Are you ready for that? Are your beliefs so hardcore that it seems like a good way to sort this out? If so, good on ya. If not, you’d better either prepare yourself and your family, or start acting like you don’t want one. Find other people who don’t want one, and then find ways to spread kindness, tolerance, compassion, and a listening ear … even to those who don’t believe like you do. It’s easy enough to be callous and to click “unfriend” on social media, but not so easy to pick up a weapon and defend your home against your neighbor … to look them in the eye and take the next step.
We are now looking at a potentially serious restructuring of Florida’s small business economic situation. We are dealing with accusations that our election was not run properly. This will get worse before it gets better. How are you going to handle it? With diplomacy and thought, or anger and aggression? However you buy that ticket, you will take that ride.
It will take a lot more than a bunch of clowns in Washington for me to give up on my countrymen, or my country. We can do better, we WILL do better. One way or the other.
Marcy Shortuse is the editor of the Boca Beacon. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.