Climbing Out of the Muck

Buck deer resting

This beautiful 8-point buck napped in my yard today, probably to recuperate from chasing the does all over the place.

Now that the American election is over I hope we can all take a deep breath and calm down. Like most of our recent political campaigns, this one was loooong and painful. Normally I love talking about the issues with people because I always learn something from it, and I think it’s important to try to be an informed citizen.

But I’m increasingly saddened by the way our political process has degenerated into name-calling and sound bites. Many voters are too busy working for a living to spend much time doing in-depth study of complex issues, so (I’m assuming) most people grab a bit of news here and there from their favorite “news” source and form their opinions from that.

That wouldn’t be so bad if we could depend on the media to provide unbiased information, but we can’t. And many people seem to believe that their cable news channel of choice —  whether it’s conservative or liberal — is telling them the “truth”.  It often isn’t. (And neither are some of the people who want us to elect them, by the way.) The failure of our media outlets to inform and educate us is inexcusable. But the American public is being shortchanged by that sad reality.

And if you’ve got a Facebook account you’ve almost definitely been exposed to some of the ugliness there too. I’ve been appalled by some of what I’ve read there, from racism to just plain hateful lies. I know some people use the anonymity and distance of the internet to deliberately provoke others with offensive rants. And that’s awful. But what really saddens me more is that people who seem rational and kind in everyday life have said some horrible things this campaign season, both about their fellow citizens and the candidates.

Does it have to be this way? Can we possibly go back to having civil and respectful conversations about topics that affect all of us? I know people have hurt feelings and the losing party is disappointed, but we’ve got to get over it and come together. What’s so wrong with listening to someone else’s view and actually considering if they might be right (or even partially right)?

It’s true that our two main political parties have opposing ideas about the best ways to run the government, and many of us have strong opinions about it as well. But regardless of whether you think government is too big or too small (or too inefficient, or too whatever…), why not be open to compromise?  Nobody gets to win EVERY time, but if we each give up a little bit of what we want sometimes, at least something can get done to move this country forward and we can feel good about it instead of wanting to wash our hands of the whole thing. And tell your elected officials that you expect them to be more willing to work together, and that you’ll hold them accountable if they don’t.

I sure don’t claim to have the solution to all the complex problems of our gridlocked government, but I think an attitude adjustment would do wonders to get things moving, don’t you?

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5 Responses to Climbing Out of the Muck

  1. littlesundog says:

    I love your buck photo! We have been seeing a lot of does up top here in our south pasture at night, which is pretty cool. Daisy goes missing a day or two at a time, and we feel she’s probably being chased, like many other does are. It’s an exciting time! We’ve seen a couple of scrapes down below and several rubs on the more slender trees. SOMEone tried to rub on one of my new pear trees! I wasn’t too happy about that!

    I too, am sick of the negativity, mud-slinging, lies and slander that goes with campaigning and elections for about the last decade. What have we become as a nation?

    • Kim says:

      Oh, Lori, it must be exciting for you, wondering if Daisy will have her first fawns! I’ll look forward to seeing you tell us THAT story too.

      I feel so bad for the does being chased around though. The other day we watched one doe being chased back and forth in our woods for a half hour. Then a short time later she appeared at our bird bath panting heavily. I was glad we had fresh water for her to drink. Poor little girl.

      • littlesundog says:

        I think a does first fawn is a singlet. After that she’ll have multiples, likely. It sure would be fun to have Granddeer around here! Wait and see I guess.

        We are seeing a buck chasing a doe down below tonight. It is stressful for them to run so much, and they do need water! We keep a large water tub down below and a couple of feeding trays with Purina Antler Max Deer Chow… and of course a feeder with corn. Deer LOVE corn!

  2. Well said, and I agree. I find myself becoming cynical about the whole process. I know that’s not good either. One thing that struck me more than ever as I watched the returns on Tuesday night is the election system itself is broken. It seems to me that the electoral college, if it is kept in place, must somehow be fixed so that voters from the state I am from (Idaho) mean as much as someone from Ohio or Florida.

    • Kim says:

      Yeah, sometimes I think a straight popular vote would work better, but there are negatives to that format as well. It’s surprisingly complicated to be fair to everyone in a country as diverse as ours!

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