O.J., Town Halls, and Presidents

Saturday, July 22, 2017

This week I’ve got several ponderings. None have to do with the other, but they’ve been on my mind First is the O.J. parole hearing. I’m not sure at all why we still care about him, but we do – big time. I was off Thursday and as I did a little channel surfing, I couldn’t believe the media coverage. Pundits parsed every syllable. It was amazing. Simpson’s trial in the 1990s started tabloid journalism, and it has gone strong ever since. Thanks O.J.! Because of you we have the Kardashians.

I bet when he gets out, he’ll get his own reality T.V. show. America’s fascination with O.J., I guess, comes from the fact that many believe he got away with murder. Yet, truth be told, we’ve been fascinated with him since his days on the gridiron.

At the Kennett City Council this week, we were told of a town hall meeting on Thursday, Aug. 3. It’s a sort of “let’s take back our town,” meeting. People from various segments of our community were invited, but citizens are encouraged to attend as well. I think the crazy stuff that happened during July 4th with the fireworks terrorism and the recent homicide have brought on the meeting.

Most of the time I’m not a fan of these kinds of meetings. Usually people come and just present their complaints. The Council listens politely, but nothing really happens.

We know the problems already. Kennett is not the same place it was years ago, and we all know it. The perception is that we have more crime and fewer economic opportunities than we once had. Those perceptions may or not be reality, but perception is reality to most people.

What I hope for is a positive meeting in which people bring possible solutions instead of complaints. The question is, “What do you think will make our community a better place to live and work?” Maybe we all need to ponder that question. Whatever your answer is to the question, act on it. That alone will eventually make Kennett the place we all want it to be.

I hated to hear about the diagnosis given to Senator John McCain this week. I’d never heard of a glioblastoma until the late fall of 1997. Our family became very familiar with it, however, when my mother was given that diagnosis. It is an aggressive form of brain cancer. Prognosis depends on where the tumor is on the brain, but we were told it was incurable. Mom had surgery that helped for a while, but it came back with a vengeance a short time later. My prayers are with him and his family. They need them.

I’ve had several conversations lately about how the American presidency affects ordinary citizens. We get all worked about who is in the White House. We come out in droves on election day every four years to vote for our candidate. We all know the debate about our current president. Seems like there is no in between with President Trump. You either hate him or love him.

People couldn’t sleep after the election. Students couldn’t take tests. There were protests. There is the witch-hunt-like atmosphere around this Russia investigation.

My contention is that what President Trump does on a daily basis one way or another doesn’t affect me at all. Decisions made in the Oval Office are important, of course, but do they affect what I do day to day in good ol’ Kennett, Mo.? No. As these conversations continued I urged people to be more concerned about who represents us at City Hall than the White House. Those folks affect our daily lives much more often than the president.

My point is this – why do we get so worked up over any person who holds the presidency? What he (and maybe later a she) does makes little difference daily in good ol’ Kennett, Mo.

Now, if a presidential candidate comes up with a comprehensive gnat policy – now that will get my attention. Until then, I’m not going to get too worked up about the day to day doings of President Trump.

Until next week . . .

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: