This political season is one of the ugliest yet. With so much at stake, we really need to get together and get our priorities straight.
But first, let me apologize for the video linked to the title of this piece. The song is great, but the video’s out of sync. Listen, but don’t watch – it’ll make you nuts. Why didn’t I chose a better version, you might ask? Why, that would be because every other one I tried forced you to sit through a vicious political attack ad.
Better to go with out of sync in video than to share an ad from someone as out of sync as the politicians who would take away basic human rights to give more money to already insanely wealthy campaign donors and oil or stock barons. If by internet voodoo one has appeared anyway, forgive me, please.
This is really intended to be a pleasant post about how great certain elements of the last week were. Like getting to hear Rebecca Darwin, founder and publisher of Garden & Gun magazine, speak at The Clinton School of Public Service. The fabulous lecture series is one of the many benefits of living in Little Rock.
What was really nice was hearing how the regional magazine, which is often called “the Southern New Yorker,” is so popular in other parts of the country. That’s a nice coming together of people. Speaking of coming together, the place was packed, especially for a workday noon talk.
But not as packed as Argenta, in downtown North Little Rock, on Sunday. What a happy, upbeat, hopeful day. Bill Clinton never fails to inspire (even those of you of a different persuasion have to admit the man is eloquent and brilliant), and the weather was perfect, the crowd polite.
Seeing history made once again outside the store where students of my era and before had to buy our textbooks from seventh grade through graduation was fun. The fact that so many people are shocked to learn books weren’t always furnished serves as a reminder of what can be done when people get together in harmony.
I was proud and happy to see to my friend – from those old textbook-buying days – State Rep. Patti Roberts Julian speak. Prouder and happier to see my kids/kids-in-law and all the grands there. I’m so happy to have children who are engaged, politically minded and willing to make the effort to herd toddlers in a large crowd.
This is a huge election in Arkansas. For two days, I’ve been hearing a paraphrase of Jason Robards as Ben Bradlee in All the President’s Men in my head:
Nothing’s riding on this except the, uh, first amendment to the Constitution, freedom of the press, and maybe the future of the country.
Substitute the Affordable Care Act, Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid for the first two items, and you get my drift.
(And, in a sad twist of fate, I just read that Ben Bradlee has died at 93. One of my idols has fallen, though he’d been ill for a long time. Truly the end of an era. Rest in peace, Mr. Bradlee. You were one of the lions.)
That future is why John and I early voted yesterday. And why I’ve been encouraging everyone to vote and vote early.
The future does hinge on this election. I feel like compassion will win out over greed. But you’ve got to make sure it does.
Smile on your brother and vote your heart.