Jeff Martin

Jeff Martin

It’s Tuesday morning and I’m banging out words on the laptop from the kitchen island with the dog underneath my feet and a cup of coffee within reach. I have no idea where this is going, but I have a deadline approaching and need to fill this space with something and fast.

It is Election Day and my family, as we traditionally do, will go cast our votes together this evening after work. I, along with everyone else; am looking forward to returning to some sort of normalcy after months of political rhetoric.

As someone who isn’t a fan of our current President I still have to live with the fact that Trump remains in the White House, but I’m hoping that by un-following his twitter account I might fool myself into forgetting the worst of him.

There will be plenty of winners and losers after tonight, but as I write we don’t yet know who they are. I just know I’m glad it’s all in the rearview mirror and hope we can now all learn and heal. I do anticipate the Democrats picking up enough seats to take back Congress, while the Senate will most likely remain in Republican control. Alabama will remain one of the reddest states in the nation, but the vote will be closer than in years past.

It’s a shame that nowadays we are identified politically, like a fan of our favorite football team. Unlike football rivalries in politics it would be nice if we were all considered allies with different ideals. I’ve often thought political ideology would be less divisive if we didn’t identify with the traditional political labels and instead by our compassion, ideas and solutions. The current political culture is tearing us apart with loyal party rhetoric, politicians saying anything to get elected almost always to the detriment of the country.

The wife and I took a vacation to Jamaica a couple weeks ago and while away I avoided the news. And it was nice. My blood pressure was lower and I was definitely in a better mood – enhanced by several frozen drink concoctions.

Typically I absorb most of my news from local and national newspapers, along with watching the local and nightly news. I don’t listen to talk radio or watch the late night talk shows and pay no attention to opinion news. Listening to political pundits on either side is unhealthy and I blame it for being a large part of the problem. I’ve never seen MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow or CNN’s Don Lemon and couldn’t even tell you the channel for Fox News. I’m capable of forming my own opinion and holding on to what sanity remains.

Politicians and politics in general have become too divisive. It’s all about winning instead of making things better and fairer by working together. We are spending too much time on social media arguing with strangers instead of helping a neighbor and spending time with family.

Since Trumps election too many things are becoming the norm that shouldn’t. The Washington Post’s fact-checkers last week tallied 6,420 false or misleading claims told by the President in 649 days in office. That works out to almost 10 lies a day and it has only increased in the last several weeks.

For someone who claims everything is ‘Fake News’ Trump only needs to look in a mirror to see the true culprit of spreading lies. He even told “60 Minutes” journalist Lesley Stahl shortly before he was elected that he bashes press ‘to discredit you all and demean you all, so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.”

Here I go, as my blood pressure begins to rise again. Two more years, I tell myself.

I promise to have emerged from my vacation cocoon the next time I occupy this space. Meanwhile, I’ll leave the last word to one of our founding fathers.

“There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

― John Adams