A country divided?

Division

I have been trying to understand the events of last week and find my words to express the hurt, concern and utter discust I feel. Until I can figure out my own feelings, I offer the wisdom of Pat Bell. (Full disclosure, he’s my brother-in-law and someone I hold in great esteem.)

IN My Opinion

Are Americans actually so stupid and naïve? Can’t we see why we’re so divided and angry in this country? And how this division is destroying us?

“Divide and conquer” may be the most effective military strategy. And it works in defeating cultures and societies as well.

Think about it. Those who encourage division do so with rhetoric that places blame on others for all problems. They demonize all who have differing opinions in order to achieve their own objectives. They are politicians trying to remain in power. They are media (on both sides) whose goal of larger audiences (and advertising revenue) is furthered by more and more and vitriolic and divisive language. (True journalism may indeed be dead.) And there are the true enemies of our country (both domestic and foreign) who would be delighted at our collapse.

All of these people/entities encourage and plant the seeds of division, distrust, exclusion, and anger. But in the end, it’s another group that ensures the growth of these things. We can see them every morning when we look in the mirror.

We, as Americans, have taken the bait of division….and run with it. We have embraced the idea of contempt and confrontation and blame. And we are as guilty as any of spreading division with disrespectful conversation and social media posts.

We have done this to ourselves.

Can we not show even the slightest acknowledgement of the merit of a different opinion by listening? Can we not at least try to understand that opinion without an emotional outburst? Can we not try to express our own views without blame and offensive words?

Can we defeat the division that could destroy us? Entirely? No. We will always be somewhat divided by political beliefs, religious beliefs, ethnic or racial or a host of other differences. But we have, mostly, been able to appreciate (and even celebrate some differences on occasion) respectively for the greater benefit of all.  We’re far from being the perfect nation. We have certainly shown our weaknesses and sins in the past. And yet, on whole, we Americans strive to be a better society.

Our elected leaders pledge to defend us….from all threats. Division is a serious threat. They must unite us to begin the process of defeating division. But it’s not just the responsibility of politicians. It’s our job too. We have to be smarter…to survive.



Let’s think about what we can do as individuals…that’s 30

“Just find me 11,780 votes”

I find it unbelievable that the President of the United States would try to con the Georgia Secretary of State into changing the vote count of the general election. I listened to the recording obtained by NBC News.

Trump’s insistence that he won the election and that the people of Georgia and the entire country were mad at the Secretary of State’s reluctance to change the vote. What I heard ranged from veiled threats to a good ole boy, wink-wink, con job.


If, and that is a Big if, Trump or anyone else had evidence of voter fraud, errors, or “skulldugery,” I believe those in Georgia’s government would gladly consider the evidence. However, they are on the record that there was no wrongdoing, and the results are accurate.

After listening to the call, I can’t help but wonder what else he will attempt between now and January 20th? I also worry about how this will impact his base and what they might do. Hopefully, this madness will soon end, and we can recover the soul of America.

…that’s 30, for today.

Our Last Move

Last week our house went on the market, and within two days we had three competing offers. It sold over the asking price. Our home had been “staged,” we held an open house, and now we move on to closing. It has been about 18 months since we first started thinking about selling and moving to a senior retirement community; now, we are a couple of months away from moving to our new home.

During our time of discernment, we attended seminars, toured facilities, spent hours of online research, talked to our children, and together determined it was time to make ‘the’ move. We have accepted that we are aging, and this move is an opportunity to manage our independent living situation.

We realize that the mid-’70s are a stage in life when the body thinks differently from the wishful image that we are still 40-ish. Our neighborhood is perfect if you are a young family with kids.
Retirement has been great, we rarely annoy each other, but we need a social life. We need new options to stay actively engaged. We don’t need our four-bedroom, three-bath house with a finished basement and all the required upkeep.

Fountain View at Tallgrass Creek our soon to be home.

We have moved many times in our 40+ years of marriage, and hopefully, this is the last move. We focused on Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC), which will allow us to enjoy independent living until one or both of us needs additional support. At that point, assisted living and or skilled care is available should we need it.

So, now we wait. Our new home is in the final stage of construction, and we have accepted an offer that allows us a simple move from one place to the other. We are anxious to see our new home in person.
The floor plan is excellent, but an in-person visit will make it real.

We look forward to this new era. We will have access to a pool, fitness center, several dining options, on-site medical staff, and a wide variety of activities. Most of all, we look forward to making new friends. We have seen a few of our new neighbors on a couple of Zoom calls.

A big eye-opener was realizing that we are those old folks we saw during our tours of potential senior communities. We are aware that we are fortunate enough to move to such an upscale community when many seniors are alone in less than ideal circumstances.

Part of this process is downsizing. The “stuff” we have accumulated over the years is shocking. Getting rid of it is hard work; our kids don’t want it, but thanks to several social media sites, we could sell quite a bit. A two-day garage sale helped, and what was left, we donated to a local nonprofit and the Salvation Army store.

Perhaps others have been through this process, but for those who haven’t, take your time. Study the options. Visit the properties that interest you and ask a lot of questions. Check with state and medicare reports on their site inspections.

As George Carlin said, “So far, this is the oldest I’ve been,” now we’ll spend time meeting new friends and staying active.

…that’s 30 for today.

Hello Boomers, time to vote.

Every day 10,000 people turn 65, and the senior vote increases in value.

Scanning news reports just 23 days before the general election, I found striking how important the senior vote is becoming.  The headlines read, ‘Seniors flipping on Trump’ or some variation thereof. It appears especially true in Florida.

Politico reports that in 2016, 52% of seniors supported Trump, those numbers are not there this year, and it is critical as seniors turn out to vote at the highest rates of all demographics.

Many of the reports focus on his handling of the pandemic as a leading cause of the loss of their support. This Boomer would add Trump’s demeanor, lack of empathy, disregard for the truth, and lack of leadership abilities to the list. When asked what is important in this election, some of my friends offered the following healthcare, competent leadership, truth and equity in education.

As a senior living in a so-called Red state, I feel this election will send both parties some strong messages. I am concerned about how the conservative voters will handle the loss of even one race. I am counting on those promising to reach across the aisle will put that into practice if elected. As a country, we need to embrace change.  We need to promote civility and repair the damage done to our American way of life during the past four years. I hold both parties responsible for that damage and to return our country to its once respected position as a world leader.

…that’s30, Plan to Vote

We’re Getting Close

Another Debate? Maybe yes, Maybe No

In twenty-five days, Americans will elect our next President. I fully expect we will witness unusual events in the coming days. This morning it was announced the next debate would be virtual.  Within minutes the incumbent announced he would not debate in front of a computer where he could be cut off. 

While politicians will do what they will do, we must promote voting, the most important duty as an American.  Many say my vote won’t matter; others say they can’t support either, and some have never voted.  I believe this year, it is more important than ever to exercise your right and vote your conscience.  

To borrow the line from a friend, “Pray, Think, Vote.”

…that’s 30 for today, w2hat do you think?

Another “Covid” Monday

It could be a song title, not a popular song, but one of our time. It has been an unbelievable week or so, and I’m curious what the next five weeks will hold. 

Today the President remains in Walter Reed Army Hospital for treatment for the coronavirus. Lots of discussion about just how sick he is and what he will do next.  I find it unbelievable that our government allowed the White House garden to introduce the Supreme Court nominee.  Absolutely no distancing, very few masks, and the other precautions recommended by the CDC.  Just how many of these in attendance have or will become sick is yet unknown.

This past weekend we held a garage sale.  I’m pleased to report that all in attendance wore masks.  I had put a sign requesting masks in the front yard, and no one argued.  All respected my request.  We had hand sanitizer at the cashiers table and were as careful as possible.  I can’t compare my garage sale to a White House event, but I can justifiably critize those who planned that event.

Praying for common sense. 

…that’s 30 for today.

Election Anxiety

anx·i·e·ty

/aNGˈzīədē

noun

  1. a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

Thinking back to the 2008 General Election, I remember feeling anxious and worried about what some of my friends said about then-candidate Barack Obama. The rumors, falsehoods, and conspiracy theories were more than I could stand. I remember thinking, where in the world did they come up with this?

Well, here we are twelve years later, and we are back in the same mode. It is tearing people apart. People are terrified, many for the first time in what may be a sheltered life. According to the Pew Research Center, media coverage of the Obama rumors grew tenfold over a few months before the election. From my knothole, we are seeing the same things today. Only now it is compounded by the pandemic.

The difference this year, I believe, is the politicians have mastered media manipulation. They know which buttons to push and when to schedule their announcements. When have we ever seen near-daily “pressers”? Which I believe are not legitimate news, but campaign events disguised as newsworthy.

We are now just 46 days until the General Election; we need to remain calm and question the campaign fodder. More important is we must turn out the Vote. I hear some say my vote won’t matter, or I never vote. Please encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to exercise their rights.

…that’s 30 for today.

How do you find information about the candidate you vote for?

A friend who recently moved to a new community asked me how to find factual information about the November ballot candidates. As I thought about this, you would likely know little about local candidates unless you have lived in the same place all your life.

While we are all bombarded by flyers, commercials, and social media, we only learn what the candidates want us to know. I suggested she attend candidate forums conducted by the League of Women Voters, attend sessions sponsored by both parties, and spend time questioning the candidate should they come to your door.

I’d be interested in learning how you get to know the person who gets your vote. Please share your method of judging candidates.

that’s 30 for today.

Thoughts of an Independent Voter

I have always been proud that I’m an Independent Voter and not part of either party. While I will admit, I lean one way or the other at times; I prefer to cast my vote for the candidate or issue that squares with my conscience. As hard as I might try, being a moderate right now is hard.

We live in a time when politics are driving personal relationships, and that I find is unacceptable. I have friends and family that I genuinely care about who are “hard right” and “hard left.” Where are the other Moderates? What has happened to common sense and the common good?

As we rapidly approach the general election, I am as concerned about the local races as I am the national. Those elected to serve our schools, cities, counties, and states will pass legislation that will impact our daily lives. In the past have voted a split ticket, and I will continue to vote for the person I believe will get the job done regardless of party.

Those serving in Congress and the White House must find ways to resolve the partisan politics tearing our country apart. Those in leadership are not working together to meet our countries needs. Wonder what would happen if there was a robust Independent candidate? A moderate who would work both sides of the aisle.

…that’s 30 today. And DON’T FORGET TO VOTE.

What if my wife could not Vote?

It is my intention that this Blog is a place to exchange ideas and learn from each other. Todays post is from a friend who wished to remain anonymous. Since it is very timely, we will respect that request.


While watching the Republican National Convention last night, I appreciated the First Lady’s perspective.  First—her simple human story of fleeing oppression, for freedom.  Communist oppression, for American freedom.  

And then as she touched on the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, I considered my wife.  I considered all free women of the world—especially all lucky enough to live in the most-free country in the world.  

My wife is very smart.  And independent.  And beautiful.  She does not speak as many languages as Mrs. Trump, but her heart is every bit as capacious.  

My wife’s heritage is also Eastern-bloc, a milder version with Czech roots, but she was born and raised here in the free state of Kansas.  The 19th Amendment recognition made me consider—my wife has never felt diminished because of her gender.  But what if she was not afforded the natural right to her voice?  What if she couldn’t vote?  

She would not be the same person she is today.  And that simple thought crushes me.  What if her voice were suppressed?  How would she temper her opinions?  

How dehumanizing.  

And then I realized she faces that dehumanization every day.  My smart, independent-minded, devoted wife is a Republican.  She cannot wait to vote again this November, for freedom, equality, faith and opportunity.  But because of that, her freedom of speech (the First Amendment, by the way) has been trod upon.  Rudely.  Every day, lately.  

I yearn for a return to a more civil time.  A more civil time, when voters, citizens, neighbors can disagree.  But can do so without hate.  

Author’s name withheld for personal reasons. 

…that’s 30 for today.