There have been advertisements running in the The Sun and Country Messenger over the last few weeks featuring Mr. Rogers with the headline ‘Make America Kind Again’ and now with Abraham Lincoln with the line ‘Make America Honest Again.’
A private party, well within the person’s right, paid for the advertisements. What is surprising (but it really shouldn’t be, but it still is) were the responses we received over them within the last week.
One person voiced their displeasure of the ads due to the recent news surrounding the Lincoln Project. Well, within the person’s right to think that, but for me, seeing a picture of Abraham Lincoln doesn’t make me think about the Lincoln Project.
After dealing with that person’s concerns, I then went to Facebook and saw a message from a different person voicing their support of the advertisements.
In this line of work, for our own sake and for everyone else’s, we have to play down the middle 100 percent of time. Yet, seeing those two contrasting opinions in a short amount of time could give you whiplash.
First, it is encouraging that people are reading the paper and wanting to give your feedback, positive or negative. Second, despite having to play it down the middle, there’s still a part of me that tries to make all people happy as much as possible. Getting those responses is just maybe the latest example of that goal becoming a pipe dream than a reality. In today’s climate, reaching universal consensus on a subject is slipping further and further away. Well, maybe except for Alex Trebek as host of Jeopardy! I have yet to find anyone who said a bad word about him.
On a related note, I received a phone call from a reader last week that wanted to voice their opinion about a recent story I wrote. They introduced themselves as I was gearing myself up for the bad news.
Then, like something out of the blue, they wanted to thank me for what I wrote and praised me for bringing attention to the subject.
I gave off such a surprised Thanks they couldn’t help but comment on it. I told them I was gearing myself to hear bad news, because that’s been the norm in the past.
They understood and the call soon ended.
Yeah, I smiled a little bit after that call for a while.
Our oldest daughter recently wrapped up “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” via DVD and it couldn’t help but make me think.
As a child of the 1980’s/1990’s, the quantity of television shows for families was high. “The Cosby Show” was at the top of the list, not knowing about Bill Cosby’s actions until later. Along with “The Fresh Prince,” we had “Growing Pains,” “Who’s the Boss?,” “Full House,” “Family Matters,” “Home Improvement,” “The Wonder Years,” and “Step by Step.” I know I’m missing a bunch from that era, but what is there now?
Jason Schulte can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.