OK, right up front I’m going to admit plagiarizing myself for this blog post. A few years ago, I wrote a Facebook “Note” about things I’ve not done in my life. One of those items was the fact that I’ve never been in an intentional physical altercation with another person as a kid or adult.
It seems timely to talk about this subject given the current political climate—you know, the kind where we recently saw a 75-year-old former vice president bait our 71-year-old current president with a barb about who’d win a schoolyard fight.
Gentlemen, most of us don’t care about the outcome, nor would we want to watch (other than the inevitable SNL parody). The Biden-Trump exchange made me recognize the common ground I occupy with our president. Despite his words, I doubt he’s has had a fight in his life, either.
Not being a blueblood, I’m quite certain I’ve more opportunities than DJT. After all, I did:
- Spend my first 22 years in New York City (and one year of graduate school later on) with a sarcastic sense of humor and a righteous streak.
- Work nearly 30 years as a journalist building a social justice and story sense for alienating cops and prosecutors.
- Make a pool hall my primary social hangout the past 16 years.
And yet, no fights.
I’m better at being the “can’t we all get along” type. Going all the way back to high school, as noted in a yearbook message from one of my peers at Newtown High School (The Tower was the school newspaper, where I was co-editor).
Unfortunately, being a mediator is the rarity these days. Rather, our current national discourse is always predicated on sidedness—Biden vs. Trump, Republicans vs. Democrats, Fox vs. CNN, us against them. In other words, there are only two sides to anything so choose yours and God help you if use the modern-day cuss words “compromise” or “pragmatism.”
I remember years ago watching an I Love Lucy episode in which Lucy writes a “novel” mocks everyone in her life while showing herself to be the hero. A publishing house tells Lucy it wants her story for a book about writing and she is ecstatic. Until the agent discloses her story is being used in the chapter titled, “Don’t Let This Happen to You.”
That’s a perfect metaphor for our political state right now. And you know what? I’m fighting mad about it.