Dept. Of Alternative Facts: That’s Entertainment

entertainment (n): an activity which someone engages in for recreation, without obligation

With the mid-term elections coming up, I have been reading a lot of local news and Letters to the Editor which are focused on the Far-Right’s disdain for the federal government and especially the President, and and the Democratic Party, whom they tar and feather as socialist and communists. Those writing seems to see that running for county clerk or commissioner from the Republican Party are running agains “Commie Joe”. As far as I can tell, there are a lot of political steps between our local government and the White House. Thus, I responded:

Letter to the Editor

S P’s Letter to the Editor brings up an important issue for today: Why are we so obsessed with the activities of whoever resides in the White House.  It does not matter whether one side rants about Trump/W/George Sr/Reagan/Nixon, et al. Or the other side rants about Biden/Obama/Clinton(s)/Carter, et al.  Why has the Executive Branch of our federal government become so powerful in our society that we ruminate on its wins, losses, inadequacies, quirks, and scandals.  I have wondered about this for a number of years.

While many factors effect how the presidency has become our focus, I see two major influences.

News has been, and is becoming more so, entertainment for many people.  News, whether print, digital, TV, radio, or word-of-mouth, imparts some information, but mostly keeps our attention by being entertaining.  We like to follow stories that fit our narratives of social and and political life.  That could be our leaders acting on our behalf in what we consider good laws. Or, expressing how dangerous the world is (along with how they are going to protect us). Or, real life dramas, intrigue, and suspense.  Or, heart warming tales of love and romance.  We like to watch a good story.  But, why does the White House fill this roll in our lives, versus other branches of the government, or our state and local leaders?

Given the news bureaus’ economic realities of budgets and limited reporters, national news is easier to report on than attending lots of congressional hearings, state and local meetings.  Also, the office of the president is the only one that everyone in the nation may participate in.  Except for some hot issue congressional, state, or local races, most of us are not interested in what is happening three or thirty states over.

Thus, the media, right, left, center, or fringe can capture our attention and keep it by focusing on the presidency.  With that filling our broadcast hours and news cycles, what else do we have to talk, or write Letters to the Editor about?

I agree with Mrs. P, let’s “talk about issues related to THIS local environment and area…”.

For instance, in the past few weeks, we have shopped at local markets and farm stands in Lost City, Wardensville, and Moorefield; attended music events in Baker, outside of Wardensville, Capon Bridge, and Upper Track; hiked on the West Virginia – Virginia line on North Mountain; watched glass blowing in Wardensville… And, the Moorefield Examiner has written articles and carried advertising for many of these places.

Let’s forget about where Brandon may be Going for a while, and enjoy our region. 

Reading the local paper over the past two months, I’m not sure that others writing in either read or agreed with my opinion. They will get an ear-full soon.

Do some research on your state and local elections over the next couple of weeks. Elections are won by those who show up.


About hermitsdoor

Up here in the mountains, we have a saying, "You can't get there from here", which really means "We wouldn't go the trouble to do that". Another concept is that "If you don't know, we ain't telling." For the rest, you'll have to read between the lines.
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2 Responses to Dept. Of Alternative Facts: That’s Entertainment

  1. We will certainly be showing up. Important local elections in Maine, from governor all the way down. Fingers, toes, and everything else crossed that the far right does not prevail in Maine. We shall see.

  2. Good that you make the effort to write about this important topic. I hope it’s read by many. And I like your nod to local/ regional events and news. Wishing you a good election outcome.

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