I know some people who would rather talk politics than eat. Me, I'd rather eat. I don't think we've ever been so political as nowadays.
Say something that's not so complimentary about a Republican, and you're liable to get shot.
Same goes for bad-mouthing passive-aggressive Democrats. Except, rather than shoot you, they'll just slap you to death.
It's all begun to be a bit much. Grown-up men and women hollering at each other about their differences of opinion. What they should be doing is figuring out what to do in case of a tailspin. If we don't watch it, we're not far from taking an unwanted nosedive.
Frankly, I couldn't care less which party is in office. Say whatever you like, but they're both pretty much the same. For every bad thing you can come up with about a Democrat, there's something that's just as bad about a Republican.
I truly believe that, next to race, politics is what has caused everybody to separate ranks. It's crazy how we treat one another based on our political party affiliations.
When I was growing up in Middle Tennessee, back in the 1950s, people kept how much money they had and who they voted for to themselves. Obviously, that Southern tradition is long gone.
Dad was in radio. He felt — rightfully so — that radio personalities were better off keeping their personal politics to themselves. It just wasn't good business to spout off about a politician. No matter what, you were bound to offend someone. Worse yet, that "someone" might be an advertising client. That's a very understandable explanation.
With my grandmother, Miz Lena, it was less psychological and much more to the point. Ask her why she didn't discuss who she voted for, and she'd tell you right quick, "Cause it ain't nobody's bizness. That's why." Also, easy to understand.
There are 8,000 UFO sightings every year. Not one of them has landed. It's no wonder. If they're observing the way we talk to and treat each other and watching the news and debates on Fox, CNN, MSNBC and the rest of them, they've gotta be scratching their oversized, preying mantis heads.
I guess they figure there's no need to bother communicating with us. It must seem inevitable to them that sooner or later, the universe keeper will get fed up with the way we're treating our planet and one another and mash down on the "blowup" button.
Why would they want to be friends with a society of humanoids who seem to be bent on destroying most of what God created for them?
The rain forest is going up in smoke. Our streams and oceans and seas are in trouble. Drugs are more rampant than ever, and our crime rates go up every year. But, oh yes, the stock market's up. That ought to take care of everything.
Every time you turn around, there's some country that I don't care anything about visiting making nuclear threats at us. Another thing, there are some pretty weird people running some of those countries. Of course, they could say the same thing about us.
There's a part of me that would just as soon get whatever fighting we need to do out in the open and over with. There's no sense wasting time meeting them in the parking lot if all we're going to do is yell at each other.
Sorry if this offends any of you flower children. I just think that things are going to continue down the path we're heading, and one of these days we'll find ourselves in a bad situation. You never think that it's too late until it's too late.
I get the philosophy of "make love not war." But there's a bunch of them over there who, unfortunately, better understand muscle and our willingness to fight it out if they step on our principals or tread on our beliefs. It's important for us to be united in this regard.
My America is not weak. We're plenty empathetic and compassionate, but we stand our ground and don't allow the line to be crossed. That's what makes us who we are. We're not going to achieve peaceful solutions by shooting basketball with Kim Jong Un or having a "love-in" with Putin.
It's important for them to know that we can't be played and that we bow to no one.
It may be that some of you find my opinion a touch aggressive. I guarantee you that anyone who has actually traveled to a foreign land and engaged in combat understands full well what I'm saying is true.
We can contain them without physical confrontation by standing strong. Think about it: You don't hear about any country out there threatening Russia. I disagree with Russia's policies, but you've got to respect their hard-line toughness.
I understand people wanting to get across the border and start new lives for their families in the good ol' US of A. Why wouldn't they? America's the greatest country in the world. Most everyone would like to have a piece of America. I can't blame them. Still, it needs to be done the right way. It's our country, so it's our rules.
You never hear about Americans trying to sneak into Mexico or Yugoslavia or any other country for that matter. If we did happen to leave the States, I seriously doubt that another country would allow us to march down their streets in protest, carrying signs and screaming demands of them.
There's no grass greener than what we have on our side of the fence. What we take for granted is longed for and coveted by the rest of the world. I'm proud of that.
Hats off to our founding fathers and all those who have been or are in precarious parts of the world, heads high and taking on the bad guys. If you think about it, we've been engaged in wars for some time now. There's got to be a better way.
Grand Mom was "old school" Southern and dipped in patriotism. She pulled over to the side of the road and insisted that we put our hands over our hearts as a funeral procession passed by. She wasn't much on singing but always joined in and belted out "God Bless America" anytime it played.
She constantly reminded me that we were special because we were Americans. Furthermore, she was positive that God had a special place in his heart for Tennesseans. I believed her then, and I believe it now. We're blessed. I'd like it to stay that way.
In my humble opinion, it's time for us and the rest of the world to find ways to coexist in peace and harmony. I'm not sure that's possible, but it's worth the fight.
Bill Stamps' books, "Miz Lena" and "Southern Folks," are available on Amazon. For signed copies, email firstname.lastname@example.org.