Election 2018 is behind us.
By Election Day, I reached the point that I really didn’t care who won the top positions on the ballot.
Yes, I voted in all the major races, but in the top two — U. S. senator and Florida’s governor — the candidates did such a thorough job of trashing each other that I lost enthusiasm for all of them.
Candidates set the bar for their campaigns; they set it low to start, and it got lower.
It has been said that anybody who respects the law or loves sausage should never watch either being made. It is a small stretch from respecting the law to respecting those who seek positions of authority in government.
It seems to be more difficult in every election.
The national tone for politics is set at the highest level: in the White House. The winner — no matter which candidate each of us voted for — is President of the United States. We only have one at a time. He is the president of all of us.
This point was driven home to me as a lieutenant in the Army on Nov. 22, 1963, the day President Kennedy was assassinated. I was serving in Washington, D.C. I did not like the policies of President John F. Kennedy, but he was my commander-in-chief, and I was outraged when some SOB assassinated him.
It is difficult to maintain the same level of respect for the present occupant of the White House.
As a retired journalist, I resent his absurd declaration that the press is “the enemy of the people.” Last week he declared that 33 percent of Americans agreed with him. Give me a break.
By his definition, any journalist who doesn’t report the news the way he wants it reported is an enemy, not just of him but of the nation.
There is nothing new about politicians attacking journalists who report the news as it is, rather than in a way that makes them look brilliant. It has happened to me, and if you’re tough enough to be a journalist, you need to be tough enough to tolerate such self-serving attacks.
To return to my basic premise, the mid-term elections are over. The president has nothing to gain by continuing to attack the press, or the opposition party, or anybody else who doesn’t revere his every word as Gospel.
Halloween is over, and we are approaching Thanksgiving, and five weeks later, Christmas.
It is, or should be, a season of love and harmony.
As of yesterday, the winners have won and the losers have lost.
Is it too much to hope for a period of civility among our leaders from the White House to the courthouse?
Perhaps it is, but I continue to believe that members of the electorate, in whose hands the choice of government leaders rests, are entitled to nothing less.
(S. L. Frisbie is retired after 50 years-plus in journalism. He defines his career — with reluctance — in these words: I’m a journalist; I get lied to for a living.)