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The strength of a debate reflected in a man

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tony farkasTony Farkas file photo

By Tony Farkas

I’m sure it would be real easy to assume that I’m all about President Donald Trump, given that I’m extremely conservative in my views on all things political.

Hey, I like the guy, because his approach to politics is akin to a bull in a china shop, and I’ve felt for years that Washington needs shaking up. What I don’t do is necessarily agree with everything he does unremarked, because nobody’s perfect.

A lot of people during the president’s term also have disagreed with the president and his policies — some in a very ugly manner.

Every one of us has had that time on the schoolyard when we’ve had a shoving match — tempers flare, words exchange, sides get drawn, then nothing really happens. The level of debate in the country, particularly in the political realm, is now exactly the same way, and it’s because of Trump, and the people who disagree with him.

That’s pretty doggone sad, because now we don’t care about the future of the country; we care only about winning, and damn the consequences.

First and foremost, anyone willing to put themselves on the line to serve, whether it’s a local board like the schools or city council, or the president of the United States, deserves respect. Secondly, the office deserves respect, no matter who’s in it. Lastly, how you feel about a person does not and should not come into discussions about policy, especially at the national level.

Yet, this country has seen its leaders devolve into schoolyard shoving matches over things that are frankly ridiculous, and is covered up with hyperbole the likes of which no one has ever seen. Supporters on both sides tend to speak in supportive cliff notes without the benefit of information, and nothing of note is getting done.

The latest fr’instance is the confirmation of newly minted Associate Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who will singlehandedly end abortion, health insurance and freedom of speech while setting a horrible rotten example to women everywhere by being a woman of faith, a mother, and wife, and a caring person who adopts children from Third World countries.

Passion is OK, especially in running a country, and differing opinions are even OKer. What’s not OK is either/or beliefs, particularly when it then devolves into name-calling, accusations, false witness, manufactured crises, or even riots, as we’re seeing across the country.

Also, some of the things we’re arguing about don’t have anything really to do with the shape of the country, like whether or not Trump will vacate the Oval Office. Let’s talk about real issues, like that pesky $20 trillion debt, or the peskier trillion-dollar deficit, or the peskierer impending doom of Social Security, and on and on. And let’s do it right and seek real solutions, not just point fingers and whinge.

Debate is key here, and there are solutions. But, as my favorite writer was fond of saying, “No one is entitled to their own opinion. They’re entitled to their own informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”

No amount of screaming will solve problems. Only people willing to work and looking for real solutions will make a difference. If it takes someone with a bull-in-a-china-shop attitude to make that happen, so be it.

Yeah, he’s not part of the club that’s been in charge of the playground for so long, but he should be allowed to play, too.

Tony Farkas is editor of the Trinity County News-Standard. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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