Tag Archive: politics

Sometimes I want to hide my face in my hands.  Indefinitely.

A couple weeks ago, West Virginia’s John Raese made national news by telling an audience of Putnam County Republicans that the requirement that he post a sign banning smoking on his business property was the same as Hitler making Jews wear a Star of David.  Mr. Raese will be running against Joe Manchin in the fall for the U. S. Senate seat once held by Robert Byrd. In a YouTube video, Mr. Raese is shown saying that he believes everyone ought to be able to do as he or she pleases, “’cause I’m an American,” he reasons.

Today, I’m feeling numb as I read dozens of Facebook posts expressing shock, sadness, but mostly embarrassment that once again, a great many West Virginians, 57,081 of them to be exact, have proven themselves to be braying asses too stupid to understand the value of their individual vote.  They squandered their votes on an imprisoned Texas felon crafty enough to get on the presidential ballot in the State of West Virginia. (Not much craft involved, since West Virginia’s ballot laws are lax.)  No doubt, those West Virginians will be the inspiration for much hilarious commentary on this evening’s satirical talk shows.

But what about the rest of us?  The ones who have either elected to stay in West Virginia, or have come back, often because of family ties? Some of us are deeply committed to a clean environment because it directly correlates to better health for human beings. Some of us are working hard for a diversified economy that will allow entrepreneurs to create opportunity for many years in the future.  Some of us see the beauty of West Virginia that is too often obscured by careless industrial practices, the same practices and attitudes that apparently also dull minds.  We’re the ones who insist that West Virginia and its people are worth making sacrifices for.

Today, some of us have to be wondering why we bother.


Yes, We Could…


"Country Roads," by Ian Bode

Hello citizens of the Transcendent New Nation of Appalachia.  I know it looks as though I’ve abandoned my station, and the truth is, I’ve been awfully discouraged by the fool’s parade to which we’ve been subjected lately, so discouraged that I haven’t been able to bring myself to write. ‘What’s the use of yet another rant?’ my darker self says. And as so often seems the case these days, the dark side wins, and I am silent.


Today, November 2, is an important day. When the mid-term election results are in, there may be more reason than ever to decamp to the Transcendent New Nation.  


I was ever so slightly encouraged today when I read Debra Dean Murphy’s blog, Intersections: Thoughts on Religion, Culture, and Politics.  Murphy sees the same dreary scene I see, but she declares that we’re not all drowning—yet. She describes a vision of a place where “We could practice the politics of partnership and collaboration. We could turn off the TV and get to know our neighbors. We could participate in local economies that free us from dependence on self-interested corporations. And we could pursue the interests of our hurting neighbors above our own, confounding the candidates who expect our one and only question always to be “what will you do for me?”


Yes, we could.  But will we?