Stangl

“Think of what you’re saying

“You can get it wrong and still you think that it’s alright

“Think of what I’m saying

“We can work it out and get it straight, or say good night

“We can work it out

“We can work it out”

Lyric, “We Can Work It Out”

by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

It’s been 55 years since The Beatles recorded “We Can Work It Out” as the B-side single to their hit “Day Tripper.” It’s one of my favorite Beatles songs.

In 1965, the nation was in the midst of working through civil rights legislation with the Voting Rights Act being signed into law by President Johnson.

I was four years old in 1965 and grew up believing the work done in the 1960s and 70s was making a difference, improving equality in our nation.

It’s more than apparent to me that even though the intentions were good, the path to cooperation and equality has a long way to go. It seems as of late we are fixated on what divides us and spend a great deal of time and energy making our points instead of listening to others.

An item in the news last week gave me some hope that all is not lost.

In August, the Democrats and Republicans held their nominating conventions, formalizing their candidates for the November election. Both parties made their case and presented their vision for the country.

Partisan politics often brings out the worst in people when they are whipped up to a frenzy.

Unfortunately, with the advent of cable news, the 24-hour news cycle and social media, the frenzy is no longer limited to the six weeks before Election Day. No need to wait to hate. You can do it from your smart phone any time of the day or night.

In recent weeks political signs and flags from both parties have been stolen, slashed and even shot at. The signs, many paid for by individuals, were located on private property. Being whipped into enough of a fury to use weapons to destroy signs is troubling to me. Shooting at a sign? Dangerous and irresponsible. If you will damage a flag, what would you do to the person?

The chairs of the local Democratic and Republican parties issued a joint statement condemning the vandalism and reminding everyone that it is a crime.

While it’s not a breakthrough, it’s a start. When we can find common ground, we can start building a relationship. When a peace process takes place, common ground must be found before proceeding.

It’s fine to be a supporter of a candidate or party, but elections come and go. We are all Americans and neighbors. We need to find a way to live with each other. Politicians need to find a way to work for the common good after the election is over.

And, as naïve as I am, I believe I have the right to put a political sign in my yard and expect it to be left alone. My neighbor can do the same, even if he is supporting the opponent. We can do this because we both believe in America, even if we disagree on politics.

As always, I welcome your comments. You can reach me by email at tstangl@theameryfreepress.com, telephone 715-268-8101 or write me at P.O. Box 424, Amery, WI, 54001.

Thanks for reading I’ll keep in touch. Feel free to do the same.