Posts Tagged ‘Government’

The Embarrassment of Political Theater

Election

When I was young the “grown-ups” would study candidates, learning about their views and how they’d vote if they were elected. Now we have the misfortune of having the court’s jesters paraded out on stage and encouraged to be as outlandish as possible to get attention and votes.

I’m not saying there hasn’t always been a certain amount of mudslinging and horse trading amongst candidates and delegates. If you think politics in this country was ever like that you’re more of a Pollyanna than I. Certainly there is a time and a place for calling-out someone when you disagree with the way they voted or handled things.

But at what point did we abandon common sense and a shred of decency for political theater?

My guess is that it happened somewhere around the same time as when the news stopped delivering the news. It is practically impossible to find a source for straight, unbiased current events. Every channel has a slant and political viewpoint. Most stations seem unapologetic and downright brazen.

TV Anchors no longer deliver the news, they’re reporting stories from a perspective that they want you to share. It is pointed. It is shameful. We’ve turned away from having the news delivered to us in a way that we can have a discussion and form our own opinions.

Now we get persuasive sound-bites on social media.

When I was growing up people didn’t wear their political opinions on their sleeves. Those opinions (like religion) were not discussed in polite company. In fact, one time my mother wouldn’t even tell me who she voted for; she claimed voting was a personal, sacred, duty. Now it’s hard not to know how people think. Politics and government have become a polarizing and divisive topic.

Shame on us, America.

So to all of the candidates, regardless of party affiliation, how about a return to reality? Whatever level of office you seek, it’s up to you to get your message across. We don’t care about your height or what size gloves you wear. Tell me how you’ll lead our country.

We all deserve reality, not a reality show.

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Reach Out and Touch ’em All!

Roxanne Wilmes and Norm Coleman Duluth, MN

Roxanne Wilmes and U.S. Senator Norm Coleman in Duluth, MN

Do you give much thought to politics after the election hoopla has passed?  If you’re like most people the answer is probably no.  That is not necessarily a bad thing.  But sometimes there are causes or events that you want to bring forward and get them attention.  At Wilmes Hospitality we are pretty involved in Minnesota politics.  We have sat in on sessions, testified, and even managed a campaign.  Next month we will attend Hospitality Days at the Capitol in St. Paul, something we truly look forward to doing each year. 

There are a number of issues that are meaningful to our company and our Fresh Air Lodging® program.  But we also want to make our opinions known on issues that pertain to lodging and business in general.  The one-on-one time we get to spend with our state’s leaders is great, and they are an especially captive audience that day. 

If you have issues that you’d like to discuss with your local, state, or even national elected officials, here are my top five methods: 

1.       Email.  It doesn’t take much to figure out your legislator’s email address.  Even if he/she only glances at it, chances are it will be read more closely by a staffer and handled appropriately.

2.      Phone.  Office numbers are usually listed online as well.  Sometimes you can even get these in a special section of your phone book; if you still have one of those lying around!

3.      In person.  In Minnesota we have certain days for residents of a city to visit, for example Duluth Days at the Capitol.  If your state doesn’t do that, make an appointment and go on your own.

4.      Letter to the Editor.  This may seem like a rather indirect way to get your point across to a legislator, but believe me, they are made aware of letters in which they are mentioned.

5.      Comment on their website.  A quick Google search will most likely return a website just for your particular person of interest.  Sign in and comment.  Just be prepared for others to respond.

Where to start?  Find your cause, and your officials, and take the first step.  Try www.usa.gov.  You’ll most likely find everything you need at this site.  You don’t have to be a political junkie like me, but it’s easy to get hooked!  Good luck!