Ratchet This Thing Down

One of the things I committed to when starting this blog thing anew, was that when and if I were to ever delve into the realm of politics, I would do it without getting hateful, or partisan. I say that again, not because I am about to renege, rather because I want to double down on that commitment to not be partisan.  In today’s world it’s tough not to be caught up in party politics because in today’s world media is coming at you from all angles, hitting you up side the head with all kinds of outlandish he said, she said, political party crap, usually in the form of fake news and memes.  But what I think we all should do, instead of jumping on board and going all partisan whacko, is take a step back and realize that we are being click played.

You know, this party calls that party outrageous, then that party calls the other party outrageous, then media outlets report that both parties are outraged, and this all amounts to nothing more substantial than a bunch of clicks. One party is looking for clicks/votes, the other party is looking for clicks/votes, and media outlets are looking for clicks/money.  And what do we get out of it?  Well, at best we are entertained (i.e. President Trump, Maxine Waters, etc..) and at worst we maybe get hypertension. I think the more we buy into one side or another, the more towards hypertension we will be heading. To be entertained, I think we need to have some perspective and to have that perspective we need to be able to stand back and take a long informed look.  Often in politics, a sense of humor will also go a long way towards gaining that perspective outlook.

For the last year or so I’ve been listening to the Jefferson Hour podcasts and have felt that they have helped me gain a little perspective regarding our nation and our national politics. The Jefferson Hour is a pretty cool format that is a far cry from any dry old political or historical text book.

Nationally acclaimed humanities scholar and award winning first person interpreter of Thomas Jefferson, Clay Jenkinson, portrays Jefferson on the program, and he answers listener questions while in the persona of Jefferson–his answers are grounded in the writings and actions of the great man.

The show is a very easy and often humorous listen, so before you know it you’ve gained some perspective because you’ve learned a great deal about Thomas Jefferson, our Founding Fathers, and the various goings on during our nation’s formative years. The aim of the show is to generate conversations, rather than confrontations between people, and I think they are hitting that target. More conversation and less confrontation is something our nation sorely needs.  However, I find that it’s tough to come together if the best you can do to start a conversation is to name call and repeat some idiotic ill-informed meme you saw on Facebook. Oops, that sounded like a rant, but really…this seems to be the kind of stuff that passes for politics in our brave new world.


Humorous?  Well yes…

Honest, Informative, Make society a better place?  Not so much.


What kicked me into writing a bit of a post here was both the want to share this unique educational resource as well as the latest blog post they put up at the Jefferson Hour.  Clay Jenkinson talks through some of his own feelings after spending some time off the social grid.

Let’s ratchet this thing down, turn away from the circus in disgust, take walks and read books, and stop regarding this as Armageddon. It’s not the Seventh Seal you hear opening up in the empyrean. It’s only the Second Seal. But stay tuned.

I found his post to be quite in line with the feelings that I had after snoozing/unfollowing a bunch of political friends and organizations over the holiday’s last year.  I did feel a general ratcheting down of emotions and I did feel that I had a better handle on approaching the a political conversation with more perspective and calmness, so a good thing.

BTW, many 30 day FB snoozes have turned into forever unfollows and I haven’t looked back.  I encourage everyone to do the same and then take some of that extra time to go riding, running, walking, throw a stick for the dog, or even listen a bit to the Thomas Jefferson Hour.

Update – Just saw that one of the last blog posts that is up is titled How to Handle Partisan Division and I see that it is also on my iPhone podcast app.

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Garin

Poor as my writing might be, I still like to write. I’ve written a blog or two in the past, but at one point or another they each became a chore rather than a joyful pastime. C.S. Lewis said, regarding writing, “Write about what really interests you, whether it is real things or imaginary things, and nothing else.” I will be following Lewis’ advice so this blog, which bears my name, will remain a joyful pastime. Hope you like bikes.

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