Waiter: Good morning! May I interest you in today’s top headline stories, lightly blended with your favorite breakfast cereal?
Batavick: No thanks. I think I’m going to quit the news cycle for now. I’m taking the cold turkey approach and avoiding the Internet, newspapers, radio, and TV like a bottle of cheap wine.
Waiter: Very well, but we are offering a special on hot, breaking news, hyped to perfection and heavily spiced with leggy, Fox blondes.
Batavick: Nope. I really can’t. I’m stuffed to the gills with news, especially with the election just two weeks away. If I don’t limit my consumption, I fear I’ll explode. Every morning I wake up bloated with anxiety and dizzy from tumbling in the 24/7 news spin cycle. Much of it is orchestrated by that demented wizard behind the orange curtain, cranking away at his noise machine to keep us distracted.
Just look at us wearing masks! Remember, it was Trump who called COVID-19 the Democrat’s “new hoax” and their “single talking point” until he himself got it. Eight million of his fellow Americans had to suffer and nearly 220,000 had to die, 148 of them in Carroll County, before he admitted the virus was a serious threat. That means he willfully brought fever, weakness, fatigue, and difficulty breathing to innocent folks, as well as inconsolable mourning to their families when death won the day. Now “Corona Don” struts and prances, claims COVID-19 immunity, and says we will all have to live with the threat. I’ve had enough.
I’ve also had enough of people refusing to wear masks, endangering others, and sabotaging any attempt to return schools to normalcy, revive businesses, and restart the economy.
I’m frustrated by an electoral system that serves a population of 330 million. Are the two old duffers running for president the best this country has to offer?
I’m tired of still reading about unarmed Black men getting gunned down by rogue police despite all the publicity surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement.
I’m weary of the hijacking and perversion of the BLM movement by those on the left and the right. Valuing the lives people of color has nothing to do with Marxism, anti-fascism, or defunding the police.
I’m disappointed that the proven, peaceful protest tactics of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi are so easily abandoned by activists.
I’m disillusioned by blue state mayors and governors who haven’t come out more forcefully against rioters; thereby giving the president the gift of a fevered talking point.
I am in disbelief that our so-called “law and order” society permits heavily armed men to terrorize legislators and peaceful protesters. Intentionally intimidating and threatening anyone with bodily harm should be an arrestable crime.
I’m depressed about the president’s dog whistles to white supremacists and his recalcitrance to overtly denounce them. Telling the vile Proud Boys to “stand back and standby” must have caused Abe Lincoln himself to do a back flip in his grave.
I’m deeply troubled by the bald-faced voter suppression in many red states. The California GOP was caught placing misleading ballot boxes around the state, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott has reduced the number of mail-in ballot drop-off sites to one per county. Harris County, the U.S.' third-largest county, ranges over 1,777 square miles, has a population approaching five million, and is home to Houston. “Happy trails” to those voters wishing to exercise their right to suffrage.
I fret over the president’s willingness to create a constitutional crisis by refusing to commit to an orderly transition of power should he lose the election. Halloween’s night of horror promises to extend through November and December as mail-in ballots are counted amidst unfounded claims of a rigged election and the threats of armed protesters.
I’m embarrassed by how our chief executive and his followers so easily discount science, whether it applies to the coronavirus or climate change. Scientific facts are not opinions to be argued, especially when one of the debate leaders is a former reality TV host.
I’m incensed that I’ve paid more in income taxes over the years than our billionaire president. His tax schedule may have been technically legal, but how can he possibly claim to support the troops if he doesn’t personally contribute toward feeding, housing, arming, and training them?
I’ve simply had enough. I recently saw a man with a mask that read, “This was preventable.” It sure was! I pray that we don’t make the same mistake twice this November.
Waiter: Yes, sir. So, just the prune juice this morning? I’ll bring the check.
Frank Batavick writes from Westminster. His column appears every other Friday. Email him at email@example.com.