“Silly season” is what the run-up to elections was called when I lived and worked in a small New England city. I‘ve recently heard the term again. In fact, it is anything but silly. The look and feel of our communities often change with the winds of local politics.
If we zoom out to the current presidential campaign, the anxiety covers a much broader scale. It is especially palpable this year. It’s no surprise that the rhetoric ranges from the ridiculous to the sublime.
However, this campaign has all the appearances of a high-stakes game of political liar’s poker. The sound and fury emanating from some of the candidates is amazing. More than a little of it is downright disturbing.
If the egotism, intensity and aggressiveness displayed in the campaign debates and speeches are indeed the persona of the successful candidate, will we be embracing a new president who believes himself to be coming to power with volumes of so-called “political capital” and “a mandate to govern”? Think about the prospect of being thrust into new conflicts by an ego leading from behind a desk; or the compassion of a person who invokes like-mindedness with Christians, but seems to understand the term “tithe” to mean a commitment to give 10 cents.
In the end, we are left to filter all the trash-talk, and ask, “What is truth?” I’m listening hard for a voice of reason. That voice seldom seems to punch through.
I say all this with deep concern because I know that if we choose wrongly, a huge number of us living in America will become losers.
Carey R. Brier