People Out Loud: Get ready, get set… It’s a New Year

January 2016 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

DixonBy Dixon Bledsoe

And so it begins. 2016. New Year, presidential election, standoff in Burns, North Korea trying to flex its muscles, Adele saying Hello and Star Wars – The Force Awakens saying “goodbye” to box office records.

A few thoughts regarding our new year.

The allure of Donald Trump is both shocking and predictable. Shocking that so many people might actually vote for him because they see life as a reality show (a false and contrived world in which he excels) and think the entertainment value he provides in shallow, little sound bites is worth the risk of desecrating the Office of the Presidency. Predictable in that Congress has been so ineffective and its behavior so deplorable on both sides of the aisle that someone like “The Donald” is seen as a cure for what ails us. He isn’t. Not even close. Medicinally, he is like Ipecac, the drug we used to keep in our medicine cabinet should the kids ingest something poisonous. Politely put, it makes those who ingest it vomit. He is my Ipecac. When he speaks, I purge. Unfortunately, he is a joke, borne out of our frustration for real leadership. Please look elsewhere. It is time to get serious, not slapstick.

A hopeful prediction? The NRA decides it is time to be part of the solution because the majority of citizens believe reasonable care with guns doesn’t infringe on their 2nd Amendment rights. A hunter and sportsman can hope, can’t he?

The out-of-state people “occupying” the wildlife preserve in Malheur County need to go home peacefully and then await their day in court because they are breaking the law and should be arrested. No one wants them here. Peaceful protests, yes. Armed occupation, no. This is a 100-plus-year-old battle with the Feds. Grievance, yes, but there is a vehicle for redress that is built into our constitution. AK-47s over the shoulder and dressed up in camo gear with a “Beyond Macho” persona and a six-shooter with a pearl handle on your hip? Silly stuff. The Marlboro man was fictitious, remember?

On the other side of the “class” equation, the good side, Ernie Hento was a gentleman. A wonderful businessman, a strong and gentle family man, and the owner of a genuinely kind heart.  Ernie, for me the Western Auto icon in 1960s Silverton, was the perfect role model for how to run a business through service. Mr. Hento passed away earlier this month and it saddened me to hear the news because he was such a positive influence in my childhood.

My son, Trevor, turned 21 this month. Our behemoth baby of sorts who, at 6’6” is a towering presence in any room he occupies. Known to take out a gallon of milk poured over an entire box of whatever sugary cereal he can get his lips on, Trevor has a unique persona. But what makes him larger than life? He loves people, is deceptively deep in intellect, wears his massive heart on his sleeve, and has a positive spin on life. He is realizing the transition into manhood is not easy, fraught with obstacles and new responsibilities, but that it is undeniably the right path. My daughter, Briana, still gives him a mini-massive bear hug as he heads back to college after emptying our refrigerator, imploring him to “Make good choices.” A 2:22 a.m. call from college asking if we are awake and disclosing his flu-like symptoms was a gentle reminder that the transition is not quite a fait accompli. But what a man he is turning out to be. Happy Birthday, T-Bone. Study hard, have a little fun and “make good choices.” Mom and Dad are proud of you.

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