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A Holiday from our Political Wars

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Message Ken Wheatcroft-Pardue
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This morning, out my front window, I watch as a passing school bus' rumblings launch a jumble of wings. Our annual spring rite is now in full swing, when cedar waxwings swarm on my holly bush to gorge on its red berries. For me, this has always meant that in my tiny corner of Fort Worth spring has finally arrived and, let me tell you, not a moment too soon. Don't we all need some rebirth now? Don't we deserve spring?

All over my 'hood, redbuds bud. Chlorophyll pops like firecrackers on a string. Springy spring has sprung with lush new-born waxy green leaves. And people you see while you're out and about begin to change. Smiles show up on their faces where only sullen frowns were before. It's as if metaphysical pixie dust were dropped from on high. While in the dandelion mist, fat robins hop with ugly grackles, who never ever smile, and monarchs choreograph steps like the edge of some mountains on the far-side of the moon. Tell me, with spring and all its beauty finally here, who in the world could be unhappy now?

Well, in 21st-century America, pretty much all of us. We are flooded with negative "news". If it bleeds, it leads. While at the same time, politicians with black belts in fear-mongering and scapegoating succeed beyond all expectations. And regardless of what side of the political fence, we are absolutely convinced the world is going to hell in a hand-basket. We just lap that stuff up.

Too many of us are addicted to our outrage, our self-righteousness. With modern algorithms, our phones confirm our every bias. We never have to consider that maybe, just maybe, we could be wrong. Or, possibly, even more radical, the other side might have a point, even occasionally.

So I have a modest proposal. Let's all chill. Just for a little while, anyway. Turn off your apps from your favorite news sources. Take an hour, take an evening, hell, why not take a whole day off of the circus that is our modern media landscape? Here's something radical: take a Twitter Holiday. Do not speak of the current occupant of the White House, either positively or negatively. He's not going anywhere. Trust me, he'll still be there when you're ready to check back in.

And, please, don't feel guilty. According to Micah Zenko and Michael A. Cohen's Clear and Present Danger, we are living in the best time in the history of the world. Fewer people are poor and more people are literate than ever before. This is the good ol' days.

Enjoy a park. Check out your city gardens. Go to the best people-watching place in your neck of the woods. Get some coffee or, if you desire, a stronger beverage, and take in the beauty of the day. Actually listen to the people you're with. Pay attention to them. No, don't look at your phone. Tell a special someone, face-to-face, how much you care. Chill. Relax. Take deep breaths. Remember to smile. People might just be curious how in 2019 America you can be so happy. Maybe, you'll make a new friend.

Tomorrow or later, when spring ends and the weather turns steamy, we can all go back to sneering at the idiots who are in the (fill-in-the-blank) Party. We can hate on the so-and-sos who are obviously ruining our country. We can make jokes about their leaders, like political memes that take apart their intellectually vacuous arguments and own the other side, but for at least one day take a vacation from our political wars. Enjoy the beauty of the world, unmediated by our devices. Hold the glorious rebirth that is spring close to your heart. Appreciate life, as it really is.

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Ken Wheatcroft-Pardue Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I blog at "Left-Wing Tex" from beautiful Fort Worth, Texas. Here I am a retired English-as-a-Second Language teacher. I have had poems published in a number of venues, including California Quarterly, Borderlands, The Texas (more...)

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