Scary thoughts about snow and elections

I know it is an old wives’ tale, but as a young one, I was told you could tell how many snow events you would have during the winter by the date of the first accumulating snow. If it came on the fifth of the month, you would have five days of snow. If it came on the 15th you were looking at 15 days of snow. I am fearful there may be truth to the old adage as this year the event came on Oct. 26, meaning we could be facing 26 more days of snow this winter. That would work out to approximately one snow every four days and as we enter the season with colder temps and higher accumulations, that could make for one long winter.

Speaking of scary events, this week also includes that most frightening day of the year – election day. Next week at this time, half of the country is going to be celebrating with a glee in their hearts. The other half are going to be angry and bitter. That is, of course, if things actually get decided by election day.

I remember a time when election night brought elation or disappointment, but then a few days passed and life went on. Now it seems we are in an ongoing political battle and election day is simply the dividing line between the end of the last campaign and the start of the next.

With social media, an endless news cycle, without election threats and warnings, there is nothing to talk about. The animosity is a shame and I do think it is a sign of the erosion of common decency when two candidates for president cannot debate without the entire episode slipping into the muck.

Both were obnoxious and rude and both flung insults at the other. I can’t imagine any previous time when an opponent would call a sitting president “a clown” to his face in public. It was once the case when polite terms like exaggeration and misrepresentation were used in political advertising. Now the vocabulary includes terms like liar, hate speech and criminal.

I know it sounds cliché, but I am looking very forward to the election to put an end to the political ads on television. Being on the state border, we get hit with the commercials for both Missouri and Kansas, as if one state’s worth is not enough. For good measure, somehow, I also got onto a phone list in Maine so I have been getting several texts per day for some campaign in one of the few states I have not even visited. I keep trying to block the calls, but they keep coming in on different numbers, so I just wait for an end of the election season, although it will seem lonely not receiving text messages anymore.

As nasty as the commercials get sometimes, I long for different messages. Just imagine if political speak was like coach speak. You know coach speak, it is when a sports coach doesn’t want to give opponents locker room material so they say very little, but never brag about themselves or criticize an opponent. Instead of saying, “We are a very good team and our upcoming opponent hasn’t won all year so we should beat the snot out of them,” a good coach will say, “We have been playing well, but we still have a lot of issues to address. I know our opponents don’t have a great record, but they may be the best winless team in the state and we can’t afford to overlook them.”

So, if that were translated into politics, our candidates would likely say something like, “The reason we all run for office is we want to make a difference. I know I have some good ideas, but there are areas I am uncertain about, but I can promise you I will do my best to research and be up on any subject which may come up. But I also can guarantee you my opponent is a wise and conscientious person who would be more than up for the job if you were to elect them instead of me.”

Yeah, I know it wouldn’t work, but it would be refreshing.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Halloween and enjoy wearing a mask. Also, don’t forget to wear a mask for health.


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