On the EDge: Your vote is more powerful than guns and bombs

Composite image, St. George News

OPINION — I could go deep here, chapter and verse, with reasons why the president bears a large dose of responsibility for the recent terrorist attacks against Democratic Party leaders and CNN.

I could present a cogent argument, cite instances and provide audio and video evidence to support the case.

But, in the end, it would be shouted down as fake news, written by a libtard Dummycrat on the George Soros payroll.

I could counter the “whataboutism” claims that Sen. Bernie Sanders incited a loon with a gun to attack members of the Republican congressional delegation who were preparing to play against Democratic Party counterparts in a charity baseball game a year ago, pointing out that Sanders never once suggested violence against his opponents or used abhorrent language in describing them, even though the shooter had worked in his presidential campaign at a lowly volunteer level.

But, it would be shrugged off as a rant from a socialist snowflake and more fake news.

The thing is, these were both insane acts perpetrated simply because of political differences that have truly gotten out of control.

Neither act is acceptable.

Neither act is defensible.

Neither act is condoned by sane, reasonable people, of which we have rapidly declining numbers.

This nation was born of blood, from the Revolutionary War through the Civil War and the modern-day Civil Rights movement. It has seen ugly, difficult times and, as we are seeing now, one of its most challenging.

It is time for all of that to stop and it begins with the way we deal with each other.

We won’t solve all of this with guns and bombs and violence, which are the natural result of the vicious attacks we have perpetrated upon each other the past few years.

A lot of people are ticked right now, I get that.

You may not like the president. A lot of people don’t.

You may not like Congress. A lot of people don’t.

You may not like CNN or Fox News or the media in general. A lot of people don’t.

But, it’s time we channel that anger.

Let’s face it, the playground taunts, boorish behavior, clannish isolationism we have adopted as the new normal is simply not working.

We don’t look each other in the eye any more.

We don’t listen any more.

We don’t think for ourselves any more.

We have reverted to herd mentality and, unfortunately, the herds are drifting aimlessly, led by false prophets, wicked shamans, knaves.

Whether it is social media, mainstream media or the alternative media, we are rudderless because of the explosion of a technology that is swallowing us up. And, the reason it is swallowing us up is rooted in the gilded lucre on the table.

The Russians may have hacked us badly in 2016, undermining our faith and trust, but so has corporate America, which has been mining clickbait gold on the strength of manufactured outrage.

You see, a number of those websites promoting the virtue of one political organization over another are owned by the same outfit.

American News LLC, based in Miami, owns and operates the sites “Liberal Society,” “Conservative 101,” “Democratic Review,” “God Today” and “American News.”

The side effect, of course, is the same as that of the grocery tabloids: The headlines have to be sexier, the stories more outrageous, the message almost always one-sided.

Why continue the quest for fair play and the search for truth when it is easier to grunt in monosyllabic babble?

This is, if you examine carefully, the path taken in the dumbing down of America, which has reached new depths, so much so that we cannot speak civilly.

This is how we got to the embarrassing station where we are more apt to dismiss an opposing view than listen or discuss its merits or shortcomings.

Those disgusted with this turn of events often throw their hands in the air in despair and walk away from it all. Those who figure their vote is meaningless, however, are a major part of the problem. They simply do not realize there are enough of them to make a real difference in our governance.

Far too many, though, buy into the current mentality, whether through right-wing mongering or left-wing scold, and their mumbo-jumbo clichés escalate until it agitates the nuts with guns and bombs who then try to rewrite the script.

There is, of course, a much more effective tool at our disposal – the ballot we punch next Tuesday.

But, for the system to work, we have to step outside of ourselves and think in macro terms.

What is best for our community?

What is best for our state?

What is best for our nation?

It may not always coincide with our own personal needs, you know, and the direction you may wish to move us all into may not reflect the voting habits handed down by mommy and daddy. That’s OK. This is no longer mommy and daddy’s world.

Do your own homework. Study the candidates. Study the issues.

This is your vote.

Use it wisely.

Don’t get caught up in all that other stuff. Realize that the system really can work if we trust it and kick all that other nonsense to the curb.

We’re all in this together, you know, and that means having a healthy level of respect for our neighbors.

It means being patient and hearing each other out instead of shouting each other down.

I must admit, I am not enamored with most of what I see on the Washington County ballot.

I don’t like good ol’ boys and I don’t like change simply for the sake of change, which is what I fear we see most of this time around.

But this all matters.

And it is the civil thing to do to

No bad days!

Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist for St. George News. The opinions stated in this article are his own and may not be representative of St. George News.

Email: edkociela.mx@gmail.com

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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28 Comments

  • DRT October 30, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    Since Washington County went to the mail in ballot, my wife and I have both already voted. I’ve never missed an election in over 50 years. But the longer I live, the more I doubt the value of a vote.
    When you look at political history and all the vote fraud that has been exposed, it makes you wonder about all the fraud and corruption that has not been exposed.
    And when you see people elected that you believed were honest, upstanding, moral individuals, suddenly go to self-serving, corrupt politicians, it makes a person feel pretty helpless.
    It is so obvious that the leadership of both parties are totally corrupt. I fear for the world that we are leaving to our heirs.

  • 42214 October 30, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    Ed, how do you reconcile the statement that James Cromwell made that there will be blood in the streets if the Republicans maintain power after the mid-terms. Kind of negates the value of the vote if the other side says they will revolt if they don’t get their way. Hillary, Spartacus, Holder, Obama, Warren, Ellison, Harris, real team players. Willing to accept the peoples’ mandate? I doubt it.

    • iceplant October 30, 2018 at 6:54 pm

      As if Cromwell is to be taken seriously. Really? Do you always put value in the words of “celebrities” using their positions of fame to spout nonsensical calls for violence? Get real.

      • Redbud October 30, 2018 at 8:42 pm

        Whether he is to be taken seriously or not, Cromwell’s statements are typical cry-baby Democrat rhetoric. “Give me my way…. or else….” Reminds us all of Hillary and how she just can’t get over she lost.

      • 42214 October 30, 2018 at 8:52 pm

        Stick your head in the sand or where the sun don’t shine, Cromwell and his ilk have a platform and powerful voice that idiots listen to. You dismiss it out of convenience but if a conservative said this you’d freak out. Not just talking about celebrites calling for violence, Waters, Spartacus, Holder and many on the left. Name a prominent person on the right calling for insurection or violence if the election doesn’t go their way.

  • Real Life October 30, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    Ed, in typical Ed fashion, you atom bomb the Republican party, and THEN call for peace. Only AFTER you lambaste the right, you then point out that both sides are to blame for the turmoil that has enveloped our country. Just saying.

    • iceplant October 30, 2018 at 7:58 pm

      And what part of his comments aren’t factual or truthful?
      The GOP has earned… EARNED the atom bomb. Just saying.

      • 42214 October 30, 2018 at 8:55 pm

        Facts and truth are a relative term to you depending on your convenient interpretation. Self proclaimed righteousness fits you to a tee.

        • iceplant October 30, 2018 at 9:23 pm

          Self-proclaimed righteousness? Wow. Another sermon from the pulpit. *snooze*

          • Happy Commenter October 31, 2018 at 10:02 am

            To some facts and truth are only what’s”planted” in their heads!

      • bikeandfish October 30, 2018 at 11:11 pm

        I fear you are the point here.

        • bikeandfish October 30, 2018 at 11:11 pm

          *missing

          • iceplant October 31, 2018 at 7:01 am

            No, I’m quite aware of the point. Republicans like to play the victim when it suits there needs. THAT’S the point I’m trying to make. Republicans have earned every single bit of the hell they’ve brought upon themselves. Idiocracy on full display.

          • bikeandfish October 31, 2018 at 9:11 am

            Insert facepalm here.

            If you can’t see how democrats calling for citizens to play dirty is problematic at large and inconsistent with their own values than I believe we are in more trouble than I originally thought.

            The midterms will be telling but I think Ed’s cal for decency is much needed right now.

          • iceplant October 31, 2018 at 12:20 pm

            You can facepalm all you want. Makes no difference to me.
            I’m no longer in the mood to “make nice” with people who stand with the Republican party now. A party that is so OUT OF LINE with actual American values that they’ve managed to divide and pissed off people who once wanted to reach across the aisle and compromise. People like me. Not anymore.
            Normally I agree with Ed’s commentaries. I don’t this time. I live in a state controlled by far-right ideologies and I’m sick to death of it. And I am NOT alone. Not even close.

          • iceplant October 31, 2018 at 12:33 pm

            AND, I’ll go further. You go ahead and be decent. We could probably use a little decency. Personally, I’m not there yet and I am trying really hard to find a way to accept Republicans without wanting to ship them all off to a deserted island in the middle of the Pacific and letting them fend for themselves.
            I’ve never been like this. And it is a real challenge to accept people who continually lie and refuse to fact-check anything. The level of vitriol is REAL because the right is full of hypocrites. How anyone can have patience with people who continually LIE to the rest of us is beyond my scope of comprehension. Especially when you know… KNOW they are liars. I hold liars in contempt. I guess you have more room to accept them than I do. We’ll see after the midterms indeed.

        • Real Life October 31, 2018 at 5:52 am

          No, you were right with your first comment.

          • Real Life October 31, 2018 at 2:39 pm

            Icy, thanks for proving my point. Triggered, angry, and out of control get you nowhere.

          • iceplant October 31, 2018 at 3:31 pm

            Wrong, wrong, and WRONG.
            1. Triggered? Really? 2016 called and wants it’s lame insult back.
            2. You’re damn right I’m angry. I love my country and I want it back from the idiots that hijacked it.
            3. Out of control? Hardly. Out of control is what the right-wingers are. Does the name Cesar Sayoc ring a bell? A right-wing hardcore Trump supporter sending explosives through the mail and targeting people who Trump has openly criticized repeatedly. THAT’S out of control. Yo don’t see anyone on the left pulling crap like that. Get real.

          • iceplant October 31, 2018 at 3:46 pm

            “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”
            – Theodore Roosevelt

            IT IS UNPATRIOTIC TO NOT TELL THE TRUTH. THAT MEANS LYING.
            Start telling the truth, Republicans. Maybe the rest of us will take you seriously.

          • bikeandfish October 31, 2018 at 8:20 pm

            IcePlant,

            I don’t agree with Reallife but there are left wing extremists. James Hodgkinsin was a leftist who shot up the Congressional baseball game that left Scalise hospitalized. Your statement about no one on the left pulling this violent crap is wrong.

  • bikeandfish October 30, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    I vote. Always will. But I do it symbolically without much belief that it has much direct influence outside local elections. I don’t see much reason to believe non-voters turning into participants would have much affect on the outcome; I’m guessing they would fall within our nation’s existing political bell curve. Have never seen much evidence to convince me otherwise.

    I don’t agree with the assessment that people don’t talk across the aisle anymore. Most people I know regularly spend time with those of differing political views and engage in thoughtful dialogue. Our country is clearly in a tense moment but I believe when we get outside the internet and political news systems you see more hope and patience (where its appropriate).

    I do think we need a deep reset on our media narrative but I’m not sure how that happens. We’ve been slowly building to this antagonistic crescendo my entire life. Both side wants us to believe its the others fault when I think its clear that its the both and their relationship. And by both I mean anyone that wants us to believe any one ideology is “right” for a nation of 300+ million people and all else is wrong. To be honest we see that perspective regularly from all three columnists here most weeks. Ed is being more mellow this week and less antagonistic which is helpful. I’ll be more receptive if he keeps up that approach instead of writing off those he disagrees with so vociferously as he has in the past (like writing off so many simply as rednecks).

    We’ll see how the current approach holds up after the results of the midterms. None of us know how that will turn out.

  • utahdiablo October 30, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    Red Wave coming…..and enjoy Trump 2020

    • iceplant October 30, 2018 at 9:37 pm

      Red wave? Right.
      You watch how quickly the Trump monkeys come apart when their red wave never materializes and the investigations and impeachment proceedings begin. Catastrophic meltdown is imminent.

      • Happy Commenter October 31, 2018 at 7:44 pm

        Yes, we see you are already having that catastrophic meltdown..hahaha!

      • 42214 October 31, 2018 at 8:48 pm

        How do you impeach Trump with a Republican Senate when you need 66 votes to convict. Can you say kobuki dance.

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