Ask Jonathots… September 13th, 2016

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I have some very intelligent conservative friends, but they seem like they will give up all logic concerning this election. Why will they give up their logic just to see their candidate prevail?

During a very brief period of deprivation, I ended up living on a farm with a fine gentleman who generously afforded me a chance to regain my feet.

I was grateful for the mercy. I wanted to help.

One day I asked him if there was anything I could do, and he led me over to some firewood. He requested that I stack it up against the side of the house. I agreed.

I had never done this before. So when I came to the side of the house, I saw two wooden planks on the ground, and thinking they were castaways, I removed them so I could place the wood in neat piles. Try as I might, I could never get the wood to stack correctly, and every time I thought I had figured out the right angles, it would slide down and fall to the side. I worked on it for three hours but made little progress.

When my benefactor returned, he asked me where the boards were that were supposed to be lying on the ground near the house. I explained I had removed them because I thought they were unnecessary. He laughed.

He said, “You need the two boards down on the ground. Otherwise the wood won’t stack right. The ground is too uncertain to keep things straight.”

Such is the case in this election year.

In an attempt to stack up ideas, goals, agendas and proposals, we have removed the planks that make everything work.

Very good people have ignored their basic truths in an attempt to elect their candidate. But you see, when you remove the boards–the principles and abiding notions of humanity–the ideas just don’t stack up.

I do not know what your planks of principle may be. I only have two:

  • No one is better than anyone else.
  • Don’t judge.

When I lay those down as the foundation for my thinking, my ideas and opportunities begin to stack up better. If I remove them, I find myself becoming too partisan, selfish, self-righteous and unfortunately ignorant.

Your conservative friends, just like your liberal ones, have decided to ignore the fallacies of both candidates. Why? Because they foolishly believe that the end justifies the means.

In an attempt to appoint Supreme Court justices, secure the borders or even promote the overuse of entitlement, they have abandoned the planks.

So my best advice in handling these last days leading up to the election is for each and every one of us to find our planks of purpose again, and then stack up these candidates in relationship to them.

For me, I would have to ask which candidate is the least offensive to “no one is better than anyone else” and “don’t judge.”

Based upon that decision, I would make my selection.

So when you talk to your friends–be they conservative or liberal–start the discussion by asking them what are the two greatest planks of their principles.

Then stack the wood accordingly.

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I’m Proud … December 30, 2012

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I’m proud of my country. I haven’t seen folks handle so much crap since Ben from the fertilizer store moved his family, complete with inventory, from Sunbury to Galena.

It’s been a tough year. I guess we aren’t supposed to say that. If you’re a Democrat, they’ll tell you that you don’t believe in the President. The Republicans will snipe at you and suggest you should have voted for their paraded puppet. The optimistic sort believes we should always look on the bright side of life. The pessimist will leap in, explaining that you “don’t know the half of it…”

Just like any other year–too many dead people, not enough explanations. Too much debate, not enough progress. Too much self-esteem and not enough true esteem over self.

It was a horrible election year. Maybe I should use a different word than “horrible.” How about “yucky-puckey?” No, that’s too cute.

We’re very good in America at assessing blame and being satisfied with discovering who is responsible for the crime, without ever making attempts to satisfy the victims or assure ourselves that it needn’t happen again.

But you see, I was out there all year in the midst of what we refer to as “everyday people,” who are really the people who make sure that one way or another, we have an every day.

They are a brave lot. You would barely be able to tell that they were in a hailstorm of adversity–if you didn’t look closely and see the dents in their armor.

We don’t smile enough. We clap instead of laugh. We need to be entertained to relax. Conversation is limited to tiny bites of half-words, quickly typed on miniscule machines in an attempt to eliminate the need for either confrontation or communication.

But I’m still proud of us. We’ve reached the end of another year and have not imploded with the sheer lunacy of intoxication from reality shows. We have actually listened to the best of Fox News, MSNBC, CNN and a host of others–and have mercifully not run en mass and burned down their stations.

We were given a choice of two men, neither of whom knew what they were doing, and we intelligently selected the one still living in the house–so as to avoid paying moving expenses. We didn’t like either one. We didn’t favor their views and we certainly didn’t approve of their lifestyle–that being a politician.

I’m proud of this country. I’m proud to be an American because after we get over our fits of arrogance, we do actually settle down, look at our history and realize that we’ve got a long way to go on our way to celebrate how far we’ve come.

There were a couple of times this year when I wasn’t sure if we were going to make it. After all, movie theaters and elementary schools were never meant to be shooting galleries. But we will keep our guns because no one has the ability to make amends. We will stubbornly continue to believe it’s someone else’s fault because catching a glimpse of our true selves in the mirror is much too frightening.

But there will always be the folks I met on my journey. They start off cranky, fussy and unwilling–but after a few brief moments of levity, silliness and honesty, they begin to unpack the soul they’ve kept hidden behind false memories.

I was proud to be in front of them. Doggone it, I’d be proud to be behind them. I’m proud of this country and I’m hoping that in the coming year, we can do something we’re really proud of… something more eternal than survival.

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