By Keith Whitson
Change is not always easy and can be either good or bad. Many struggle with changes due to facing the unknown on the other side of the situation. Familiar routines are our security blankets. Sometimes the imaginary blanket can be dirty, have holes in it or be completely ragged, and we will still cling to it tightly for fear of falling into unfamiliar territory.
Some changes are going to come to us regardless, like the one this weekend when the clocks were set back an hour. I don’t dread “fall back” as much as I do “spring forward.” At least there seems to be an extra hour in the mornings to sleep longer. Meal time is a different story. There is not a stomach clock to change. Regardless, we make adjustments and move on.
We also face changes this week with the presidential election and some local seats. Those decisions are still to come as I write this column, but probably decided by the time you read this. The changes won’t please everyone, but everyone has the right to voice an opinion through voting. Where else do citizens have such a privilege?
With the decisions made will come changes. Some may be, in our opinion, better and others not so much. We usually base the result by how much things will affect us individually.
As for the presidential race, I have no idea the outcome. Some moments I have thought Clinton was ahead and others Trump ahead. I will just be glad to see this race come to an end. It seems like it has been going on for years at this point.
I have seen so many newscasts and news stories which show most of America feels it is a year of voting for the lesser of two evils. Others are excited by the possibilities of someone outside of the typical political realm like Trump or the first female president in Clinton.
Yet, for many, it comes down to Republican or Democrat. Two things many Americans stand strong on are political parties and professional football teams. Often times fights will even start up due to differences in whose side you are on. Just as the war with the Confederate and the Union soldiers drove wedges between families, the political race can do the same.
Each president during my lifetime stands out to me for some significant reason, good or bad. I am sure we all have our checklist of how we have been personally affected by their term in office and how the U.S. fared as a whole during that time.
For some, it may be how their financial investments showed profit or loss. Some may see negative or positive changes in insurance due to a president, while others may have lost a child in a war conflict that started during a term in office. Did fuel prices jump? Did home interest rates soar or drop? Somehow, the president gets tied to it all.
Just as in all of our lives, it only takes one bad decision to block out all of the good things accomplished. However, our lives are not followed by the media 24 hours a day or broadcast for the world to see, like they are our leaders.
For me, I like a president who represents our country in a way we can be proud of. They dress appropriately for the occasion, along with their spouse. Those who are old enough, remember the Kennedy era where Mrs. Kennedy awed the world with her sense of style. Mrs. Reagan was another classy first lady. Mrs. Obama seems to have carried this tradition as well with her fashion style and involvement with the public.
I like a president who can speak with clarity and confidence. I appreciate when they can deliver words with a casual, yet professional flare, but certainly not dry and boring, as some. I think we all tend to lean to those in office who give us a sense of their human side, who are relatable and in touch with our needs.
I prefer not to know all of the trips, vacations and relaxing outings to Martha’s Vineyard the president repeatedly enjoys. I don’t need to know how many secret service men are required, rooms, meals, cars and other expenses for those repeated vacations the president takes, while we, as taxpayers, are still wait to get the first day off for the entire year.
Saturday Night Live is noted for their presidential spoofs, and this year has been no different. The last one depicted Trump and Clinton in, yet, another debate, which she brought to a halt. They joined arms, walked outside into the city street and began hugging those whom they are felt to have differences with. Arm in arm they happily strolled along, sharing food, laughter and working together.
Of course, this scenario is far fetched from the truth, but hopefully whoever is in office will make a difference for the better, leave a lasting impression of good and bring some unity to this great country. Hopefully we are entering a generation that is not so involved with political party as much as finding common ground issues to work toward.
The die hard values originally instilled in the parties seem to be more middle level now. The needs are the same for all and the desires to make better exist with all. We live in a diverse country that has made itself welcome to everyone. It is no longer a matter of left or right.
As Bob Dylan sang, “I feel a change comin’ on.”
Speaking of change, Mr. or Mrs. President, please abolish daylight savings time.