September Letters: What’s up, Jim?

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Trump vs. Biden. BLM vs. Law and Order. Finger pointing vs. The Path Forward. These are just some of the themes that have begun to take greater hold as we near the election which is just two months away. They are also the themes of my fan mail, so let’s get to it and see what people have to say.

Dear Jim,
What was your takeaway from the two conventions?  Did we learn anything new from either candidate or party or were they a total waste of time? Thanks.
Trying to Figure it Out

Dear Trying,

I am the wrong person to ask about the actual conventions since I did not watch any of them. I guess it is one of the good things to come out of having already made up my mind.  Besides, if I wanted to spend four day blocks watching people bad mouth others, I’d rather watch Jerry Springer.

President Donald Trump giving his acceptance speech (YouTube screenshot)

We already knew the nation was divided and it remains so now that the conventions are over. I suppose if you are still on the fence about who to vote for, it may have been worth your time to watch them. Otherwise, both parties spent four days and a lot of money preaching to the choir.

Dear Jim,
What about Donald Trump makes you scratch your head and wonder why others would vote for him in November?
Just Wondering

Dear JW,

Why would anyone vote for a person who has been through seven bankruptcies, two divorces, and countless investigations and lawsuits when he is claiming he is the best person to clean up the messes he has created over the last four years?

Dear Jim,
Do you have any concerns about Joe Biden should he win the election?

Joe Biden giving his acceptance speech (YouTube screenshot)

Dear Curious,

No. I may not agree with all of his politics, but all I have to do is compare his career to Trump’s to know he is a man who cares deeply about all people and wants to move the nation in a forward direction rather than return it to the 1950’s.

Dear Jim,
Another police shooting and more protests in the streets. Who benefits most from these things? Democrats who want to defund police departments or Republicans who think we need more law and order?

Dear Worried,

Both. Each party uses these events to drive home a narrative they hope will connect with the voters and elect their candidate in November  Republicans can’t justify these cop shootings so they change the subject and claim Americans are out of control and turning to violence against cops. Democrats claim protesters have a right to be angry and should be allowed to march without having cops resort to some of the tactics they have been using to break them up.

The crowd at the White House for Trump’s acceptance speech. Some called it a super spreader event for COVID-19 (YouTube screenshot)

What should worry you is through all of this, our president has yet to condemn police behavior or say anything to heal a divided nation. Instead, he has supported groups of counter protesters who now threaten to add to the problem with their own acts of violence. Trump eats this stuff up like he eats junk food.

Dear Jim,
I know you get asked each month about the election, but now that another month has passed, what do you predict will happen?
Getting Anxious

Dear Anxious,

I guess you missed the news. Between conventions, shootings, protests, and a little something called COVID-19, Trump managed to announce the election results ahead of time. He has already stated if Biden wins it will be because Democrats rigged the outcome and he will challenge the results (I suppose if the Supreme Court does not side with him, he will just throw out the results). There is no election result he will accept other than victory.

If you are anxious now, wait until he claims Biden and the Dems rigged the results. If you think there have been major protests over police killings, wait until all hell breaks loose when Trump says he is not going anywhere. Trump will unleash his rabid gun toting voters as well as the cops and national guard on groups who take to the streets and protest against him.

Dear Jim,
There seems like nothing but bad news everywhere I look. Were there any feel good stories from last month that touched you or are you like me and only see bad stuff?
Sick of the News

There are plenty of videos with animals doing cute things like cats playing pianos, or animals attacking humans. Those are always fun (YouTube screenshot)

Dear Sick,

I have pretty much shut off the news. I read headlines and open up stories I find interesting and spend more time learning about things of interest to me. Last month, for instance, I learned the Motown group The Temptations recorded a version of the protest song “War.” I was unaware of this and would have remained so had I not been sick of the news. This is also a great time to find plenty of laughs on the internet that have nothing to do with politics. I don’t care who you vote for, if you can’t laugh at the video of the large dog that jumps and falls off the couch celebrating a soccer goal on TV, you are probably someone no one wants to be around.

Just remember, the news is a choice. No one makes you watch it.

Dear Jim,
Any new thoughts now that sports leagues have resumed play?
Sports Junkie

Dear Junkie,

I have not needed a sports fix so I have not watched any games. I do not see this changing anytime soon. I do read sports stories and a few things stand out. Bubbles seem to work when done properly and the NBA playoffs seem to be unfolding in an entertaining way. The NFL camps have done well too as has Hockey.

The NBA is doing their playoffs right. Pictured is Lou Williams of the Los Angeles Clippers (Claudia Gestro)

However, outside a bubble is a different matter. Just look at MLB. It has been a scheduling mess with teams missing weeks of play due to positive tests. This should worry any sports league once they operate outside a bubble.

I still think this NFL season will be a joke once players leave camp and go about their weekly in season routines. The knucklehead factor in the NFL is higher than other leagues because of the size of each team and their coaching staffs.

I also do not see how the NHL or NBA can successfully run 80 game seasons and a long playoff format under their usual format and there are not enough mental health professionals to deal with players who go stir crazy should the leagues rely on a bubble for a full season.

Dear Jim,
You were absent last month. I did not see any articles from you and I thought I would have given all that is going on in the world. Were you on vacation? Why so little from you?
A Big Fan

Dear Fan,

Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat are moving to the next round of the NBA playoffs
(Claudia Gestro)

No vacation for me. It has been more of a conscious decision not to add to the divide. I could easily write an article a day mocking our president and the pathetic bunch of losers he has on his team, but at the end of the day, it gives me no joy. I am also tired of COVID, the annual fires that destroy my state, and the fixation we have with celebrities. In other words, I am tired of the state of the world, at least the way it is covered by the media.

I am hoping September will bring about some changes or more inspiration for writing. In the meantime, I toil away on a book idea I am working on and do all I can to keep in contact with those people who matter most to me.

As the lyrics say in September Song, “… but days grow short when you reach September.” Yes, fall is around the corner and whether you have been baking under oppressive heat or enjoying one of the most pleasant summers I can remember, it won’t be long before we all long for more daylight. Enjoy what you have while you have it and I will check back in with you soon enough.