OPINION

Letter to editor: Is America becoming a surreal nightmare land?

Richard Holmes, Hays, letter to the editor

I'm about to register as an Independent voter because I have never liked, understood or condoned the all-talk and no-walk antics of partisan extremists who hurl words back and forth with the reckless abandon of bratty kids about to OD on a sugar high. These Republicans and Democrats, whose blood boils on either side of the aisle, might as well be working in a quarry and hurling stones at each other--stones, mind you, just big enough to sting and small enough to confound. After all, so my vision goes, there are stones aplenty in the House and Senate, and you can bet your bottom dollar they pocket these stones and pebbles outside the chambers, not to inform with useful facts, but as insults, veiled or not, and aimed always at their opponents.

  Added to these insults, we can expect pointless talking points that steer clear of any substantive questions that require substantive answers, not off-the-rail ramblings that extend beyond grounded realities that pertain to most, if not all, people. Shouldn't we drop the pretense of being led to an ideal la-la land and ponder the possibility that this nation is becoming a surreal nightmare land?

  I recall well the advertising quip, "Where's the beef?" I now ask, "Where are the facts?" I ask this question, though, knowing without a doubt that facts are everywhere to be found, but also knowing there are huge efforts--clearly by the fringe of both the right (more so lately) and the left (less so lately)--to circumvent, rearrange, ignore, deny and in a thousand and one ways trample facts into oblivion.

  Which leads me to Donald Trump, who delivered a speech at the recent CPAC--a speech that extended into the nether realms of unreality. The speech was a reaffirmation of his obvious belief that He (yes, with a capital "H") alone can solve all the problems of an America demonized by those "fake" and evil Dems. Of course, only 100 percent loyalty to He of unquestionable genius at deal making and problem solving can bring about renewed and lasting American greatness.

  Bet your life on a partisan-stamped Trumpocratic Proclamation and you might be sacrificing your life instead, plus putting future generations at huge risk of enduring a whirlwind of disasters. Take your pick: climate disasters, continued economic downturns leading to more debilitating poverty, far-left and far-right militias and hate groups fighting in the streets, nonwhites maligned in heartless ways, religions clashing and bashing at the peril of all humankind and politicians overruling science, again, at widespread peril.

  That is a short list.

  Take the liberal/conservative divide over a minimum wage. I hearken back to a personal example when I lived in Colorado Springs during the years 1978 and 1979. I drove a $300 Plymouth car all over the city, working as a fulltime security guard for C&D Bonded Security Agency. Wage: $1.60 an hour. I also qualified for food stamps and a modest sum from WIC (Women, Infants, and Children). Lastly, I donated plasma twice a week, earning $5 the first time, $15 the second time. My wife Beckie had just given birth to our daughter Karla Jo. And, yes, we struggled financially.

So I ask: Can you imagine the struggles for people in dire need during a pandemic?

Yet a dignified wage can't even be agreed upon?  Even without government benefits being necessary?    

So don't think for a heartbeat that a surreal nightmare is impossible.

Let's be independent with a loud and intelligent voice. For the good of all.

Richard Joel Holmes

Hays