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Words from Winterbilt

Christmas and being thankful

Shannon Bohrer

(12/2016) It is the Christmas season, time to be happy and celebrate. It is time to see friends and share meals and drinks. This time of the year I like to reflect on all that I have in my life; my wife, family and friends are always at the top. And I do believe that the good feelings during the holidays are in part because of all of the celebrations with family and friends. As I reflect on my life I know that I have been very fortunate to be married to such a beautiful person, to have a career that I liked, living where I live and being able to enjoy some retirement. My parents always told my sisters and me that to be happy you need to appreciate what you have and not what others have, or not what you think you should have. In my situation it is an easy lesson to believe because I have so much.

Another reason we can celebrate is because the election is over. I wonít miss the election advertising, the telephone calls and even the news coverage. Maybe now we can see some news other than the election. A large issue during the election was the reported bias in the national news. Of course the bias only exists when we hear something which with we donít agree. If we agree with what is said, then itís not "biased." You could say the same thing about the news after the election, depending on which side you were on.

Since the election I know there are some very unhappy people because of the results, which include me. However, I say to the unhappy people that we do live in a democracy and we should be thankful for that. There are people that truly believe the county will end, because their candidate(s) did not win. Many people believe the country will end, not because their candidate did not win, but because the other candidate did. Maybe we need to reflect on our history. We have endured many political elections and the country has never ended because of who was president. Along these lines I do think we should be thankful that everyone can have and express their beliefs. In many ways it is our diversity that makes us great and at the same time it divides us. I also see that as part of the problem with the President elect.

Living in our free county allows the expression of oneís beliefs, but expressing your displeasure with the election outcome does not mean the results will change. I donít mean to dismiss, nor would I dismiss individuals that are dissatisfied with the election outcomes, but I do think that after the election we need to accept the results. That Ė is a democracy. Our system is not "rigged." We lived in the best county in the world before the election and it will continue to be the best country.

Much of this past election was based on fear and that the world is a dangerous place. That is a new thought. But history tells us it has always been dangerous. There was once an individual that blamed foreigners and immigrants for the countryís problems. He also blamed the writers and the press for spreading false truths. He blamed his own government for the countryís problems. He even blamed other countries for his countryís problems. Bigotry and prejudice became the norm and he was the only one that could save them. According to him the country was in difficult economic times and it was caused by people that had different religions and looked different.

The world tolerated his rantings and he developed a broad support in his own country. Sound familiar?

Thankfully, the United States of America and the allies won World War II and defeated this individual and his country. In doing so we saved democracy, and with it we saved our freedoms. So it is alright to be different, except when you believe that your difference is the only correct way, and everyone else is wrong. I canít help seeing some similarities between that former leader and our President elect; they both seemed to have the same message.

It may, or may not surprise some voters that our Presidential Elect had the highest rate of false statements classified as "Pants on Fire!" by PolitiFact. In fact, he was rated as the most untruthful candidate in the election. Having said that, I know that some people wonít believe it, but it is a free country. If you wish, and I hope you do, you can check out the ratings of all the candidates at PolitiFact.com. I know some people wonít check it and will believe itís a conspiracy.

Having typed the above words I also know that there will be individuals that say they do not trust the press and they especially donít trust the web site PolitiFact.com. After all why should they believe the press? Why should anyone believe the government?

I have said before that when people say you should not trust the government or the national news, I wonder how and where they get their news. I think that having a dose of skepticism is not just a good thing, but it required for thinking people. However, just totally not believing the news is not in my conceptual reality. There are many countries around the world where you cannot believe the news, but the United States of America is not one of them.

Our government is not perfect, but it is the best form of government on this earth. That does not mean we donít have problems, but where else to you want to live? I believe we have a lot to be thankful for and this is the time of the year to reflect on what we have, not what someone else has, or what we want, but what we have. We live in a democracy that has regular elections and peaceful transfer of power. Because our democracy was created with checks and balances, no one single individual or group, can govern without oversight and criticism. We can all be heard and contribute. How many other places on earth does that happen?

As to why I did not support the President elect? I could not support someone who constantly belittles others and espouses racist views. I do believe that we all have some implicit biases, but his views are offensive, overt and intentionally hurtful. I also cannot support someone that brags about molesting women and brags that he can do it because of who he is. He even bragged that he walked into the dressing room at a Ms. Teen U.S.A. contest and he was allowed to see underage girls in stages of undress, again because of who he is. While being a raciest is not a crime, molesting women is a crime. If eleven women came forward and said I groped them I am sure I would be arrested. The rules of civility and crime, do not apply to our President Elect.

Who said: "The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one," and "All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach."

Read other articles by Shannon Bohrer