Finding a Workable Middle Ground…

Political rivalry can create a polarization so extreme, that one’s head can swim in the vitriol created by both sides.  I’d like to step back for a moment from my personal political inclinations to look at the panorama of slings and arrows being used by both Republicans and Democrats.

Fox News and MSNBC are two examples of the extremes people support in trying to put over their candidates for president. There is good and bad in both.  It’s easy to become almost hypnotized by one side or the other if you don’t try to get on some kind of middle ground, but it seems that both parties are blaming each other for every hangnail in the nation. It’s a time of scapegoats. I do believe in fact-checking, as long as that research is done in a non-partisan way (if there is such a thing).  I hate political equivocation, which in both parties manages to carve away just enough truth to create views so prejudiced that the truth could win a prize for the best costume at any masquerade party, fooling anyone who isn’t extra cautious about where the facts lie. Stretching the truth seems to be very popular this season, complementing outright lies so outrageous that many voters, their brains having become anvils accustomed to being pounded by partisan ads, seem too stunned to know the difference anymore.

I am most suspicious of those whose acidic comments are more personal than political, comments cloaked in silly rhetoric sloping toward utter absurdity.  These are the people who come off as being just more of the same self-righteous, pompous windbags we have all heard for way too long on the extreme right and the extreme left.  Finding that sane balance somewhere between is harder than it has ever been before.  That doesn’t stop my longing to find  a middle ground, where reason prevails in terms of cooperation aimed at getting things done for the country itself instead of for a particular party with its power plays, vain images of personal glory, and the same old intellectual and partisan constipation in congress from which the country has been suffering for much too long.  JB

About John

John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BA and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado. He spends his winters in Pompano Beach, Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on Amazon.com as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth and most recent book, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014.
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