Opinion: Jim Hoffman closes a chapter, opens another
Free Press Weekly Opinion Columnist
As I begin my second week of a self-imposed news blackout, material for a political opinion column is sparse.
What has occurred on the local, state and national stages of late is largely unknown. That fact has not brought some nirvana into my life, and ignorance apparently is not bliss. I continue to have concerns as to how our political boat on all levels seems adrift in a sea of negativity, falsehoods and animosity.
Each side continues to accuse the other of sparking a class warfare; the rich against the poor, the poor against the rich.
Each side continues to distribute attacks that blatantly ignore facts and history. It seems that as long as the graphic or made-up quote promotes the agenda, facts can be damned. It has often been seen when facts are used to dispel falsehoods the result is not a reconsideration of the baseless propaganda, but rather a descent into name calling. It is almost — no, it is — true that if you call someone with facts a “lib” or a “nut job” or “tea party extremist,” their facts are nullified and your falsehood made true.
It is of concern that people who do not trust the mainstream media or Fox or whoever do believe whatever they are fed without question, without research and without consideration for other thought. I have had the opportunity to sit down and chat with folks of every political persuasion and have discussions as to how we each arrived at our differing viewpoint. We have been able to have those discussions without acrimony, name calling or anger. Civil conversation is the discourse we had, a mutual respect for the rights of one another; civil conversation has largely disappeared from our political scene. I have prayed, and continue to pray, for a climate in which we may agree to disagree.
It has been about two and a half years since I first put words to paper for this column. In that time I have made many friends and far fewer foes. More than one well-known politician has admitted their secret pleasure of reading those words. Some have disagreed with everything written, but there are those who must do so. Although of a liberal bent, thoughts shared here crossed lines and did not adhere to a prescribed dogma.
Now after all those months it is time to cede this soapbox to another; it is time for me to rest. There are other written projects that require attention and completion. I wish to thank the Free Press for allowing me the opportunity to achieve an ambition from my early college days, that of becoming a columnist, a role first undertaken with my weekly high school paper. I wish to thank all of the readers who have written, called or approached me in public to share their thoughts and ideas. It, in short, has been a great privilege.
In way of signing off I would like to use the words of Jim Carey from the Truman Show: “In case I don’t see you… good afternoon, good evening, and good night.”
Now in next week’s paper you can peer into this space and ask “What’s on the other channel?”
GJ Free Press columnist Jim Hoffman is a local Realtor and investor who, when not working, loves skiing, camping and fishing (in season). He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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