Dick Tracy: Can ‘A nation divided’ stand for much longer? | TheUnion.com

Dick Tracy: Can ‘A nation divided’ stand for much longer?

Dick Tracy
Dick Tracy

A friend from my health club indignantly emailed me the other day: “They’re no longer allowing news channels to be shown on the television screens in the warm up room!”

In place of these outlets will be home and garden shows, cooking, travel and other information programs.

How come?

“It’s because the staff had to break up a fistfight over one of the news shows.” was the explanation I got..

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Nobody is likely to duke it out watching Martha Stewart create a souffle, right?

Nobody is likely to duke it out watching Martha Stewart create a souffle, right?

That’s bringing a national problem down to the local level. And I’ll wager these rifts gladdens the hearts of our nation’s enemies.

I have good friends with views ranging from the farthest right opinions of FOX news to others steeped in the liberal leanings of MSNBC.

To both, I offer advice first told to me in grade school by my best friend’s dad: “Don’t believe anything you read and only half of what you see.”

(OK, I sometimes thought Mr. Cooper was a little crazy. Not anymore.)

Let’s clear the air a little: I despair that a man with so little knowledge of the presidency is in The White House. But I don’t hate Donald Trump. Hatred cuts both ways and solves nothing. In fact, I was hopeful (like lots of voters) that having a businessman – instead of a politician – in the Oval Office might shake up the system where billionaire power brokers are in charge.

Naive, huh?

I recall talking to a man with strong Christian ethics about his support for a man whose lifestyle is so far removed from his own. After a moment’s silence he sighed: “He’s a deplorable excuse for a human being … but he’s getting things accomplished.” Ironically, the same things were being said in Germany in 1939 about a man named Adolf Hitler, who was lifting that nation out of a deep depression.

But I doubt mentioning that would have made much difference.

So now we have a man in the White House whose “base” would forgive a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g he does or says and another group vehemently doubting his right to be in office.

The internet is alive with blogs showing editorial cartoons from both sides of the argument. And, some are pretty damned clever.

But I ask: “It’s a lot of work gathering these cartoons and getting them online. What kind of person does this? And what country are they doing it from?”

So now we have a Congress where 20 representatives aren’t running for re-election in 2020. It’s easy to imagine that the job isn’t much fun anymore, having to toe the party line instead of concentrating on getting the work of the nation done.

And anyone who dares to take a middle ground on any topic is essentially doomed.

That’s not what the framers of the Constitution had in mind. As a college freshman I smirked when my journalism professor asked what we thought of the statement: “I disagree with everything you say, but will fight to the death to defend your right to say it.”

Seeing the looks of disbelief on our faces, he smiled: “That’s the meaning of the First Amendment.”

It’s time for all of us to get back to basics.

Dick Tracy, who lives in Grass Valley, is a member of The Union Editorial Board. His views are his own and do not represent the views of The Union or its editorial board members. Contact him at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.

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