What a wonderful Christmas we have. I wish it could be as wonderful and magical for all. My heredity and environment are such that I wish you all a Merry Christmas! I wish we didn't divide over whether one's proclamation offends another who says "Happy Hanukkah!" or another greets "Happy Kwanza!" Can't we embrace all and acknowledge the joys and celebrations of each one? Those of us who are so conditioned consider Dec. 24 as Christmas Eve, and Dec. 25 as Christmas Day.
None of us is far away from being one. All of us or our ancestors were immigrants, whether recent or a few generations ago. We did not earn or choose when or how or where or to whom we were born. Basically, over past decades, it had been our practice in America to welcome some immigrants, even to recruit them, particularly if they are star athletes or willing to work for next to nothing.
Earlier this month, we celebrated Veterans Day and commented that veterans appreciation should be year-around and not just on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Now we are in Thanksgiving week. It also should be year-round. Most of us here in the lake country have so much to be thankful for every day, all year long. We can be joyfully thankful for all that we have. Most of us have as many or more material goods than we really need for a comfortable level of life. More importantly, we have the opportunity for faith. We have family and friends to draw from and share with every day of the year.
Last week we selected/elected our government for at least the next two years with some parts for three, four or six years. This week we honor, celebrate and commemorate the service of our country's veterans. I hope we respond and honor our veterans better this week than we exercised our rights to vote last week. We remember when we had to be over 21 to vote. Young people, and a lot of us on their behalf, fought long and hard to expand the privilege to 18.
First off, as to the most recent column of my conservative compatriot, the Abler one, let me say, "Ditto!" It was refreshing to read his column and agree with almost all of it. Vote on or before Nov. 4. Now, are we as a society falling into our sheeplike tendencies and buying into the huge election-related scam(s) dangling all around us? Again, in this election, we have a great luxury that not many nations have. We have free choices as to party and candidate preferences.
Negative campaigning is not new. Smear type campaigning apparently existed back in colonial times. Earliest newspaper headlines proclaimed scandal that didn't exist, or spread unfounded rumors disparaging office holders and office seekers of the time. But the overwhelming amount of negative political advertising has been ever increasing these past and current election periods. Is it ever going to come to an end, or at least lesser level? Have we reached a saturation point?
Negative election campaigning seems to be dominating our airwaves (and other avenues of transmission) as we close in on Election Day. Maybe it has to get worse before it gets better. Again, this election year we are being flooded with often misleading, even false advertising against good people who are running and offering to serve in elected office. Two prime examples are occurring in our Congressional races here in northern Minnesota.
The perfect politician does not exist. There aren't any. Too many people, saturated with superficial media information, decide and vote for or against a political candidate based only on their perception of some single position that the candidate is for or against. People in political office face countless decisions and are frequently damned if they do, and damned if they don't. No matter what their makeup, background or beliefs, they can't please all of the people all of the time, nor some of the people or even any single person all of the time. Let us get used to that simple fact.
It was gratifying to see the heavy turnout at the Labor Day picnic in Baxter on Monday. It was really good to see a large, diverse and happy crowd of all ages gathered at a group event. Like the State Fair, it was a welcome, positive exception to the downward trend in organized event attendance.
This column may not interest many of our readers. I say that because only a small fraction of Minnesota's eligible voters took the very minimal time and trouble to exercise their right and opportunity to vote in the Tuesday, Aug. 12, primary election. The primary election result was great support for our existing party endorsement system.