Let's Make A Deal

Political Column by Charles Jordan

Can we just face it?

President Donald Trump is a centennial figure who will be talked about by his detractors with annoyance, anger, and hatred for the foreseeable future, maybe even the rest of the century. They see him as racist, careless and incompetent in every way. To his supporters, the President is the no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is New York outsider who popularizes America, patriotism, and the American way while building the wall and wrestling the swamp. President Trump is the voice of millions of Americans… between 47-51%, to be more accurate. Either way, President Trump is the topic of conversation from churches to salons, from ballparks to backyards, on buses, in break rooms, and all places in between. President Trump is iconic.

Multiply the intensity of the President’s support tenfold to account for the energy of this election year, add a Supreme Court appointment battle, and we have a polarized environment akin to the lead up of the Civil War. North versus South, almost 150 years later, with cities pitted against towns, police against criminals, urban areas against rural areas, Blacks against Whites, and all divisions between, prepared to battle.

Nevertheless, “Let’s Make a Deal.”

Yes, just like the classic game show in which contestants receive the option to choose which prize they would like best, let’s make a deal!

Let’s pick the outcome that best suits our families, friends, communities, and nation. Let’s do so from an apolitical, unbiased, and impartial perspective — a clean slate. Let’s look at the options before us and make the best decision without coming up empty or going home with six cans of dog food like the poor guy on the show who picks the wrong door. Although there are many sub-options and smaller choices, two major alternatives have emerged.

Here is your envelope, aptly labeled “Status Quo.” Inside this envelope is the tense, fearful, COVID-19 infested environment that has resulted in masked workplaces, handshake anxieties, and fist or elbow bumping becoming trendy. This highly politically charged envelope is filled with rhetoric, racist epithets, and flat out lies. It has the potential to turn longtime friends into social media enemies. Inside this envelope are conservative media and progressive broadcasting outlets focused on destroying neighborhoods and the nation, one viewer at a time, while stacking awards and
boasting high ratings.

You can take this envelope, accept it, and go home feeling hopeless, alone, and desperate, questioning why we live in a nation that is filled with raw deals, privilege, and no opportunity and a nation where everyone appears to have drawn the short straw for past generational sins passed down like badges of affliction. Will one man’s or woman’s vote change the nation or hurl us closer to conflict? Before we make any choices, good or bad, left or right, take any risks, or resolve to stick with the Status Quo envelope, take a moment to breathe. Look at the evidence before deciding to keep the envelope instead of looking behind one of the doors.

First, consider that regardless of your political views or what you hear on news broadcasts or from your favorite legislator, Congress agrees on most issues most of the time. That’s right, the whole of Congress agrees on over 80% of all legislation through the uses of unanimous consent, voice votes, and lastly, roll call votes. Before his death in 2017, a longtime friend of President Barack Obama, conservative icon Jim DeMint lamented that 94% of all bills in the Senate were not even debated or contested. Plainly stated, politics in Congress is a one-party affair, with Ted Cruz, Republican from Texas, and Bernie Sanders, Democrat from Vermont, watching legislation move to the President’s desk with a simple nod and tip of the cap. American voters only receive the snippets and highlights designed to feed on emotions such as anger and hopelessness.

Next, before making the deal of the century, ask yourself, “What is the problem with simply agreeing to disagree?” Consider, “Why does civility or community matter so much, especially for our local area?” Well, it’s simple. An important deal like this can often turn into a raw deal for smaller communities, where we see each other in our grocery stores and at our gyms. Members of smaller communities can’t avoid each other and blend into the crowds. Inevitably, voters from one side of the isle are going to be disappointed, frustrated, and possibly even fearful about the future when this election is over. So, before making a choice or choosing a door, realize that 2020 has been a rough year for us all. No one could have ever predicted that the Fall of 2020 would be this contentious, but very little surprises us anymore and maybe whatever is behind the door isn’t more important than the other contestants.

Lastly, let’s state the obvious. The natural state of most Americans is happy and content. Regardless of income or station in life, most of us find someone or something to laugh about and enjoy. Even the poorest of Americans imagine a bright future in which our children won’t remember all the horrible memes we liked or professional sports we boycotted. Our children will never hear the bad jokes we told, and best of all, our children will never know that we were willing to gamble our freedom and theirs for three minutes on prime-time television. The current state of things will not be the permanent state of things. Things will get better.

So, “Let’s Make A Deal.” Give back the envelope and choose door number one. Choose peace in the community after the election. Choose to build relationships and friendships, regardless of the Supreme Court composition. Choose to tolerate neighbors who are aggravating, as you realize they are also tolerating aggravation which seems to come at us all from every side. Choose door number one. Take the risk. That’s the deal where we all win, especially when we understand what is really at stake. 


 

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November 2020

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