Letter: Worried for the republic? Lighten up and get to work

Posted 7/27/22

To the editor:

Not so long ago, being teased (bullying was always wrong) was just part of growing up.  And being needled was just part of being a public figure. Teasing and needling once …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


Letter: Worried for the republic? Lighten up and get to work

Posted

To the editor:

Not so long ago, being teased (bullying was always wrong) was just part of growing up.  And being needled was just part of being a public figure. Teasing and needling once comprised a lot of American humor. [Now, Mrs. Kelly, you’ve known the boy for many years; would he have stolen the money?  Well, how much was it, Dear?]  Ah, humor. Maybe we all need to be needled a bit these days. Not slandered; not dismissed; not vilified. Just needled. Assigning to ourselves or to our “group” superior values, logic, or purpose is downright silly. To profess no trust in the private and government institutions we invented and need for a happy and just society is laughable. Knowing our own human failings and demanding perfection from others is, well, just too much.

College sports are different. Those who pray for Notre Dame football are real fans, but they don’t really believe that God kicks field goals. The red-outfitted Nebraska football fans who travel to away games in droves are mainly tail-gaters who love cold, sunny Saturdays. ‘Hope to see ‘ya next year.’  Good humor over those grilled wieners for sure.

Hillary says “deplorables” and she not needled, but has her reputation cemented as a hater. Really? McConnel fiddles with the Garland SCOTUS nomination and he becomes a permanent Darth Vader. Really? (Hmmm.) Obama’s ACA is a attacked as a plan to remove our personal freedoms.  Really?  When we are so breathless about perceptions that ‘prove’ our discontent and cast others as enemies, we have no breath for needling about hypocrisy, laughing at lunacy, poking fun at human foibles, or for being rueful about our own mistakes.

Even with our manifold blessings and advantages, many Americans have decided that we live in a dark period with little hope. Sakes alive! Our way forward is as easy as pie. We need to lighten up, improve our health and education systems, and work on the big stuff — strengthening democracy and reversing climate change. We need national cohesion to do the former and national resolve to do the latter. Each of these great enterprises will be require diligence, patience, and humor. The humor part is key, because nutty ideas will emerge and errors will intrude to remind us that flailings aren’t failures and bumpy roads aren’t road blocks. Today a lot of humor seems to come from abroad from folks amused by our fear and division as the work of a nation of ornery, humorless jerks.

Yikes! Let’s turn the page.

Will Newman

Tiverton

2022 by East Bay Media Group

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.