Take off the gloves and put on the mitts

The election season is finally over once again, barring any post-count legal maneuverings by either side.
It is now time for all candidates on every tier of government to take off the boxing gloves, shake hands and come out fighting for the American people rather than against each other.
I have often wondered what miracles could be accomplished if candidates took those millions they use to travel around the country via bus and plane, creating a presence on television, radio, newspaper and Internet while smiling, waving, shaking hands and kissing babies, to accomplish something needed in our country like improving some roads and bridges.
Of course, this is a dream that will never be realized. In the early days of our country, people were simply elected on the merit of what was written about them in newspapers and through word of mouth.
It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most Americans to even get to see a candidate let alone a president.
We had candidates such as Washington, Jefferson, Adams and countless others who traveled as far as the horse and buggy or ship or boat might carry them.
When trains came along, candidates would stump largely only where the rails could carry them. The classic speech from the rear of a caboose is a wonderful early political image.
Today, however, candidates are in our face almost every minute trying to get our attention to get behind their agenda.
It is safe to say that more money has probably been spent in some races than ever before. What could be done with that? What if it was put in Social Security? What if it was used to help our military families? Instead, it pads the coffers of every advertising concern on earth. At least that helps to pay the salaries of folks like me, who pound away on the computer to try to shed light on the news and encourage with uplifting words. I guess that is one benefit that I do appreciate.
Now that it is all over and the gloves are off, candidates could instead put on their mitts. Let’s have all the candidates — winners and losers — form baseball teams and gather in the largest stadium in the country and face off one final time for the enjoyment of the people. It could be shown on pay-per-view, and the money raised from the event could go toward helping pay down the national debt.
That would at least be more entertaining than the last many months have been.
This would be a tremendous way for candidates to help relieve the tension placed on families across the country.
If baseball isn’t the answer, they could don oven mitts and the competition could be a bake-off. With the popularity of the Food Network these days, I bet even that would work. Maybe they could all volunteer to serve us our as our cooks for Thanksgiving.
Then after the games are over, hopefully, they can all shakes hands, and the winners and losers can work together to make our country a better place to live.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful.

Whose America will it be?

As I place these words to paper, the outcome of the 2016 presidential election is yet to be decided.
I would like to join the throngs of those saying the rhetoric has made this one of the worst election seasons in history, but I know as a student of history many before have been as bad or worse, they just were not in our lives.
I will say this, it has been one of the worst that I have seen but the greatest difference is the violence that has been carried out by individuals who chose to attack persons, steal or vandalize property because they expressed a different preference in the race.
Assuming that the votes are in and tallied and a winner of the popular vote declared, after the electoral college meets next month to finalize our process, then there will be a new president elect who will take office in January.
It is time now for our country to come together and heal from the political turmoil of the last 18 months.
Whomever is the victor, whomever is the loser, ultimately what is important is we are Americans. We are all Americans and as that we should rise to a higher standard and treat one another with the respect that our forefathers and mothers would expect.
Generations struggled, fought and died so that we may enjoy the fruits of their labor and sacrifice and build upon their shoulders. We owe them and ourselves the effort of reaching for the stars and walking a path to make our country a place where we see each other through the eyes of understanding.
We should be able no matter where our hometown is, to walk down our streets safely, enjoy the opportunities to pursue our dreams, whether that means, raising a family, working a job, or running a business, possibly providing jobs for others.
We are Americans, in the wake of this election that is what we are first, no political ideology should have precedence over who we are because that one element is what has provided the strength that has allowed our country to prevail throughout our history.
If we spend our time fighting amongst ourselves, we will never notice the threats aimed at our republic from outside or miss those individuals on the inside with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar wishing to do harm at home.
Assuming as I write, that there are no more post-election revelations that upturn the normal order of things, I encourage you to pray for our country, pray for our new leader, but most of all pray for the healing of the wounds that have been inflicted upon our country and its people from many sources in recent years.
We are better than what is seen on television, newspapers and on the internet. So, remember what America is and will be is up to us. Don’t disappoint, start by loving your neighbor as yourself. One person at a time, that will be a legacy, we should build upon.