• John McGary, Woodford Sun News Editor

Here’s Johnny!

Sheath your swords, y’all

To: The White House, Members of Congress, Interest Groups and People Who Yell

Subject: Chill pills

Howdy. My name is John McGary. I’m a Navy vet and, more important, a veteran of 20-plus years of work in television, radio and newspapers. I’m writing this in the middle of National Newspaper Week, just after Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in a near party-line vote, so listen up. Please.

I’ll cut to the chase and say what I have to say, Kentucky-style: Take a chill pill, y’all.

President Trump: Please stop demonizing those of us who do our best to seek and tell the truth, even if it gets you cheers at rallies. If we make mistakes, point them out and we’ll fix them. If we don’t, sue our pants off. C’mon, it’s National Newspaper Week!

Democrats: I think you have every right to be more than mildly vexed at President Trump’s second appointment to the Supreme Court. It was unprecedented and incredibly divisive for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to deny even a hearing to President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court for more than 300 days. However, if you’d gotten your people to the polls in November 2016, Trump would still be waiting to make his second nomination to the high court (though of course you might wonder whether McConnell would have prevented a vote on a Hillary Clinton nominee, too.) Elections have consequences, and not all of them seem fair to the losers.

Republicans: I understand where you’re coming from when you complain about the late introduction of serious charges against Brett Kavanaugh. I agree with those of you who wondered whom to believe, and in the absence of more evidence against Kavanaugh, think that too many Dems assumed his guilt without enough corroboration. I, too, think that people who scream at Members of Congress while recording the drama via cell phones are not only being rude, but doing their cause a disservice.

Interest groups, left and right: Why don’t you start making public the names of those who fund your campaigns against Republicans and Democrats? Sunlight is the best disinfectant, after all. Um … never mind.

People who yell: I know you’re angry, and that it feels good to blow off steam. However, don’t you realize that you’re more likely to change minds when you speak (or email, or post) in a respectful manner? Accosting members of the House and Senate when they try to board elevators or, even worse, when they venture out in public, is not only rude but ineffectual. I understand your frustration – believe me, I do – but following elected and appointed officials around and yelling at them just isn’t … nice.

All y’all: This little experiment in democracy will work a lot better than it has the past few years if we remember that we are not only Democrats, Republicans, or Independents, but also Americans. Americans first, you might say. Too many folks seem to think of members of different parties and persuasions as the enemy, and though I’m only a (very) amateur historian, I feel like the country hasn’t been this divided since that North-South squabble 150-plus years ago.

A little more than a month before he was assassinated, a poet-president put it this way:

“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan – to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”

President Lincoln was prepared to welcome back those who took up arms against their nation, and it was a tragedy that he didn’t live to make that happen.

Seems to me it’s time for more of us to make him proud. Sincerely,

Johnny

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