Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, October 10, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, October 10, 2020 






Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 



Stuart Tolchin 

Audrey Swanson

Mary Lou Caldwell

Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Lori Ann Harris

Rev. James Snyder

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta Shamblee

Today, a great many of us are concerned about 
the problems facing this country and the rest of 
the world. Added to that we have learned that our 
peerless leader has received doses of steroids which 
can affect mental stability resulting in delusional 
feelings of grandeur. Meanwhile the clock is 
ticking towards a time when it is too late to save our 
civilizations from the ruination connected to global 

 In a time of great turmoil George Washington read 
aloud to his unmotivated and mostly illiterate troops 
these words contained in Thomas Paine’s pamphlet, Common Sense “We have it in 
our power to begin the world over again.” Close to two hundred years ago, Ralph 
Waldo Emerson, at the time the most popular writer in America and a champion 
of the power of the individual, reminded Americans “what lies behind and what 
lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” In our own time in 
his book Rebalancing Society, Henry Mintzberg cries “ENOUGH! Enough of the 
imbalance that is destroying our democracies, our planet, and ourselves.” “Have we 
not had enough exploiting of the world’s resources, including ourselves as human 

 Mintzberg reminds us that we need not be “passive human resources” but can 
be resourceful human beings in the service of our progeny and our planet. The 
passivity Mintzberg describes as the condition of most adults is certainly not present 
in our granddaughter. Her continual activity is probably typical of most infants. My 
granddaughter, is an individual completely capable of occupying herself without 
video games, television, or even me. She awakens joyfully begins chatting with 
herself in her own unique language and completely occupies herself by analyzing 
whatever she can find. She creates a great variety of sounds with different pitches 
and lengths and loudness. She experiments with face making and once discovering 
a reflection in the mirror she devised interesting experiments to determine if that 
reflection was indeed herself or some other highly interesting creature. 

I could continue at length describing her exploits but I have something else in mind 
here. Her progress from not being able to turn over, to siting up, to crawling 
and now walking have been great exhibitions of perseverance, focus, bravery and 
enjoyment. These are the reflections of what it is to truly be a human being. She 
wants to be able to take care of herself. My point is not that she is unusual, but 
rather that is what an uncorrupted human being is. Brilliant, energetic, sometimes 
making mistakes but persevering, happy and focused. As we grow to adulthood 
almost all of us are lulled into a kind of passivity, relying upon others to tell us what 
to do and what to think. 

Unrestricted business and many other illegal and non-Democratic activities have 
resulted in a terrible mistake. The man who has been allowed to assume the office 
of President has unquestionably demonstrated that he is ignorant, indifferent, 
incompetent, racist, and mendacious. Sadly, we “exploited human resources” have 
been unable to do much about it. What must happen is that unaffiliated individuals 
must take to the streets, as many already have. Groups affiliating themselves with 
local issues and non-profit corporations dedicated to the pursuit of the common 
good. Yesterday a neighbor in Sierra Madre explained to me that in connection with 
fears connected to the Bobcat fire thousands of people, common people like us, have 
banded together to share reliable information about the actual location of the fires 
and an objective assessment of the danger. There is no one to trust but ourselves! 

As Paine, Emerson and Mintzberg describe this is exactly the kind of non-
governmental, non-business controlled type of action that “Common Sense” tells 
us is the only possible balancer of the inequities within the society. We common 
people must push away our passivity. We owe this to ourselves; to our progeny, and 
especially to my granddaughter. 


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If you’re looking for a high road in political advertising, 
you’ll find it somewhere between the South Pole and 
Hades. Short of photoshopping devil horns on your opponent, 
anything goes. There are no rules. It’s Thunderdome, 
where truth is relative and context is but a rumor.

We’ve reached the point in the current election cycle 
when we’re all sick of attack ads. We’d probably see fewer 
of them if there was some hard evidence they didn’t 
work. One thing ad folks – political and otherwise – 
understand is what motivates potential customers to 

Negative ads are nothing new. If you’re old enough you might remember Lyndon 
Johnson’s famous “Daisy” ad in 1964. Johnson was trying to portray his Republican 
opponent, Barry Goldwater, as a reckless militarist, though Goldwater himself was 
never mentioned in the ad.

The ad shows a little girl picking a daisy in a field and counting. Before she gets to 
10, she’s interrupted by a male voice counting down a nuclear missile launch followed 
by a mushroom cloud. The tagline reads, “Vote for President Johnson on 
November 3rd. The stakes are too high for you to stay home.” In other words, a vote 
for Goldwater is a vote for nuclear annihilation. Unfair but effective. Johnson won 
in a landslide.

Today, thanks to technology and all sorts of digital hocus pocus, it’s easier than ever 
to make even the most reasonable statesman look like a hysterical maniac.

In Kentucky, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, is running 
against Democrat and former marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath.

In one of a series of ads, the McConnell camp tries to portray McGrath as a far-left 
radical, unhinged over the election of Donald Trump. McGrath is shown, in most 
unflattering black and white video and looking positively loopy, saying, in an angry 
tone, “I am not accepting of this!” McGrath, says the voiceover, wanted to “remove” 
Trump from office. She’s later called “Extreme Amy McGrath.”

McGrath is running ads of her own in which McConnell appears only slightly less 
evil than Mr. Burns of “The Simpsons.” One McGrath ad opens with a creepy montage 
of black and white McConnell photos with McGrath saying, “Mitch McConnell 
has spent his whole political career trying to stop people from getting affordable 
health care.” She goes on to tie McConnell to Kentucky’s high cancer mortality rate 
and its prevalence of heart and lung disease. Of course, Kentucky has one of the 
highest obesity rates in the country and is second to only West Virginia in cigarette 
smoking. So, there’s that.

If we’re wondering why so many good, qualified people spurn political office, we 
really don’t need to look much further than political attack ads. Not that there aren’t 
good people currently serving, but exposing oneself to constant ridicule and mischaracterization 
is not all that appealing to someone who is already successful and 
shielded from public scrutiny. Why anyone wants to be president, I have no idea.

Politics can be nasty business and it doesn’t get any nastier than a month before an 
election. But when it’s all about winning, nothing is sacred and money is no object. 
Advertising Analytics projects $6.7 billion will be spent on advertising in the 
2020 election cycle and at least half of that will be spent in the last 10 weeks of the 

It’s more than a little ironic that Republicans and Democrats alike take turns bemoaning 
the state of our political discourse and, at the same time, spend millions 
trying to figure out how to hit the other guy where it hurts the most. Hate and hyperbole 
are part of the game and, worst of all, if you aren’t willing to engage and get 
dirty, you probably won’t win.

I can’t pretend to have an answer, only a suggestion for our elected representatives of 
both parties: Before you yield to political strategists who can rationalize any tactic as 
long as it achieves the desired result, consider cleaning it up. Elevate the conversation. 
Talk about issues and vision. Put away the blunt instruments. You can change 
the tone of the discussion, assuming that’s really what you want.

I approved this message.

Rich Manieri is a Philadelphia-born journalist and author. He is currently a professor 
of journalism at Asbury University in Kentucky. You can reach him at manieri2@

Q: Congratulations, Mr. Fly. You won the vice presidential debate 
Thursday night. You are America’s Insect. How do you feel today?

A: Just like the president, I feel great. I felt it was my solemn duty 
to participate.

Q: Why? What compelled you to go sit on the vice president’s 
head for so long? Have you always been interested in politics?

A: Not until Thursday night. I was always content to zip here and there, nobody telling 
me what to do. I did like when the vice president talked about “freedom” and 
against “mandates.” I wouldn’t want a mandate telling me where I can fly or not fly. 
But as I was listening to what the vice president was saying to that lady on stage, I 
decided I had to take a stand.

Q: Wow, Mr. Fly. You became politicized in the blink of your thousands of eyes?

A: Frankly, I went there to sample the vice president’s hair product. But remember, 
I’m a fly – so I stayed for all his s—-.

Q: Whoa, Mr. Fly. This is a family publication. How can you say such a thing?

A: Because I’ve rubbed my hands and legs together and done some homework, which 
your audience may appreciate. Roughly 212,000 humans are dead from that virus, 
right? And 7.6 million are infected? But here’s what I heard Thursday night: “From 
the very first day President Donald Trump has put the health of Americans first…I 
couldn’t be more proud to serve as vice president to a president who stands without 
apology for the sanctity of human life.” He really said that.

Q: Gee. Anything else?

A: Oh yes. The buzz these days is that the president is mean to pretty much everyone 
who isn’t an able-bodied white person. But here’s what I heard Thursday night: “This 
is a president who respects and cherishes all the American people.” He really said that.

Q: We get the point.

A: There’s more. When I fly around I notice how much warmer the air is. You call it 
“climate change.” Here’s what I heard Thursday night: “President Trump has made it 
clear that we’re going to continue to listen to the science.” He really said that.

Q: Surely that’s all you got.

A: Oh no. There’s also buzz that we don’t know how sick the president is because his 
doctors keep hiding all kinds of information. But here’s what I heard Thursday night: 
“The transparency they’ve practiced all along the way will continue.” He really said 

Q: No wonder you stayed on his head so long. Anything else bugging you?

A: Yeah. He wouldn’t answer simple questions. Like when he was asked, if you kill the 
law that protects people with health conditions, what’s your plan to help people who 
have health conditions? He changed the subject. Or when he was asked to explain 
why his boss won’t challenge the dictator who has put “bounties” on American soldiers? 
He changed the subject. Or when he was asked, are there plans to have you step 
in if the president gets too sick to work? He changed the subject.

Q: You are very well informed, for a fly.

A: I have a lot of free time. And there’s one other thing. I don’t presume to speak for 
half the human race – all the women out there – and I’ll admit that I like to land on 
their hair, too. But I bet they didn’t like how the vice president refused to stop talking 
when it wasn’t his turn. Whenever that Harris lady would start to stay something, he 
wouldn’t let her talk. She kept saying, “I’m speaking, Mr. Vice President! I’m speaking!” 
I thought that if I stayed on his head long enough, maybe he’d get distracted and 
shut up. But alas I failed.

Q: You seem upset, Mr. Fly. Why?

A: Just puzzled, I suppose. I buzzed past a TV today, and someone said that the president 
and vice president are already getting “crushed in the polls” by women – so why 
would the vice president want to make things even worse?

Q: I guess it was just in his nature. Speaking of nature, I understand that it’s common 
for flies to vomit when they land on something?

A: Yes, but only when we eat. That’s why I finally left his head. I was still hungry for 
substance. That fellow wasn’t worth my puke.

Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist based in Philadelphia and a 
Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, writes at 
Email him at

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