Can we come to our senses?
In rural America, the strong smells of farms and factories may seem strange to some, but to most they signal good, industrious work. These good people use their senses, olfactory and common, all the time. There are, of course, particular smells to our cities, often a mixture of ethnic cuisine and smoky diesel exhaust. City dwellers like the former and seem to tolerate the latter. That said, some smells in America are repugnant to everyone.
So, what unpleasant odors are these? Perhaps the stench of our national politics, in particular, the smelly lies and hijackings of many current and former elected leaders. It stinks, for example, that any compromise is called a moral breakdown. It stinks that a once proud national party creates hatred and discontent as politics but has no platform except to vote no. It stinks that a defeated former president is a pathological liar who uses the flag as a drape while ignoring public welfare and denigrating all dissidents, thereby inhibiting all grassroots initiatives. It stinks that threats of violence are clogging social media sites. It stinks that black money is infusing politics at all levels.
The question for rural and urban Americans is simple: When will we come to our senses? Surely we all smell the political stench. For this smell to subside, democracy must flourish with deep roots. Make no mistake; democracy requires real work. It requires commitment, discernment, truth and thoughtful voting – fortunately, all values shared by so-called urban elites. Democracy also requires faith, patience, common sense, fairness and determination – all values formed, practiced and encouraged by rural Americans. Combine these two value streams and the waters of American democracy will be as clear as the vision of rural Americans and the hopes of their urban brothers and sisters.
We all want a sense of belonging and respect in this country. Possible? Of course, provided that we systematically put our politicians to the test of the smell. We have to trust our senses and act accordingly. All of us. Now.
Will Newman, Tiverton
This article originally appeared on Newport Daily News: LETTER: Can we come to our senses?