Weathering the Storm

“Approaching Storm Over Deerfield Beach” © R.L. Herron

I seem to spend a lot of time lately listening to political rhetoric. Not because I want to. It permeates the airwaves every day and, like an approaching storm, is sometimes difficult to avoid.

But avoiding it is exactly what I wish I could do.

I’ve never been a particularly political animal. Oh sure, I have preferences and often wish they were better shared by others, but would rather not – in most instances – get into an argument with friends over them. It’s too easy to lose friends that way.

There are a few people who have known me to get uptight about certain issues, but only a few. I always regret letting off steam that way.

I’ve never been able to change anyone’s mind by giving them an unwanted dose of mine.

I do let my elected representatives know how I feel about issues, both when I agree with them and when I don’t. That’s only fair. To represent me, they need to know how I feel.

But friends I would rather just keep as friends.

So I try to bite my tongue over things that go against my personal opinions. There are many contrary positions and I hope I’m always open to listen to facts that will change my mind.

However, I’ve often wished it was possible to designate where my particular tax dollars are actually spent. Not in the directions any political party designates, but by my actual personal choices.

I know the first thing I would vote to continue would be programs that help the less fortunate among us. What better use of my tax dollar than to help someone in need?

I would vote to remove any elected official who is discovered telling blatant lies to further his/her own political agenda. Why would I trust someone like that to do right for my country?

I would vote to keep our troops out of harm’s way unless we are actually under attack.

It has nothing to do with politics. It’s a personal opinion. I don’t think we have a responsibility to police the world and I will never be a fan of war. Ever.

I would vote to recall any representative who tried to disallow collective bargaining.

I’ve never belonged to a union, but our history as a country is one that ultimately demands fairness and compromise. Why shouldn’t a person be able to bargain as part of a group to receive fair compensation for their work, provide for their families and have their voices heard?

I would vote to remove any representative who acted to eliminate restrictions on the dumping of pollutants into our air and water. Do you know anyone who wants the environment to be less safe for their grandchildren?

I would vote to remove any representative who would try to restrict measures put in place to make workplaces safer. Isn’t the safety of another human being something that should be paramount in our thinking?

Do we need another Triangle Shirtwaist Factory disaster to remind us of things like that?

All this sounds political, I know, but I don’t think about the politics involved. I’m not a member of any political party. I’m a humanist.

I think about my children and my grandchildren and our future generations. It has nothing to do with politics.

But that’s just me, right?

God, I certainly hope not.


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