Dave Richards' Weekly Column in The Woonsocket Call

Dave Richards for July 26th…………

--Let me ask you a question. If someone called you a derogatory name, say, “a spineless wuss”, because you were polite and cared about other people’s feelings, what would you think of the person who did the name calling?

I thought so.

So now you understand how I feel when I am ‘called out’ for not taking public positions on the worthiness of local political candidates. I have opinions. We all do. I like my own opinions but I don’t expect anyone else to adopt my opinions if I express them in public. They’re just offered to get people thinking so they can make their own opinions.

But there are some people out there who think that I should pick up a war spear and use my public position to strike down bad people. The bad people being those people who the first folks I talked about don’t like. This is what is being done at the national political conventions. I believe this behavior is not the highest and best use of humanity’s intellect or time, and I won’t do it.

If this makes me weak, well that’s their opinion. I think it makes me strong to “just say no to negativity”. I think it takes a lot more inner strength to watch someone do something I think is wrong, but to let them do it because they have a right to do it, than it takes to call them names and make up stories about them.

This is how I was taught, and it, as I say, “works” for me.

So, when people ask me who I think I might vote for in the upcoming elections, I might tell them, privately. But only if I think they can take and use that information to their benefit or to start a discussion based upon issues and not personalities. Otherwise, I’ll pass. I don’t need manufactured drama in my life. If I ever do need some, there are easier ways to get it. I’ll just sit in the living room with The Fabulous Denise while she watches The Hallmark Pay-Cable Channel. Ugh.

I also think there’s a difference between discussing local political races and national political races publicly. National candidates couldn’t care any less what somebody in Woonsocket, Rhode Island thinks about them. So whatever I would express for an opinion would probably serve to make locals think, and that would be good, while at the same time not hurt anybody’s feelings nationally. This is not the case with the local races.

In our local races I do have opinions. Of course, I do know most of the candidates personally, and we have a relationship based upon our past interactions and circumstances. And here’s where the big difference develops. If I think local candidate ‘A’ would be a poor choice for an elected office they are seeking and I say it in public, that person is going to hear it and it will hurt their feelings I’m sure. Hurting feelings is not my goal. And, strictly speaking, who says my opinions are right in the first place? So, in this example I have hurt someone I probably know, maybe alienated a friend or potential friend in the process, and all I’ve done is prove myself to be someone who hurts people’s feeling when I didn’t have to simply because I can. This is not for me.

In conclusion, for those candidates who think that I have no backbone because I don’t say nasty things I know about people in public, let me ask you this. Now that you are candidates for office, what do you think about my policy now?

And for the rest of the wonderful people who have put themselves up for public inspection in order to earn the right to do a thankless job for poor wages just for the personal satisfaction of serving their community, I say a simple and heartfelt “Thank You”. You people are the backbone of America. I wish I could be among you, but federal law prohibits me from running for office without giving up my job. The choice was easy for me. It was difficult for all of you.

I admire you.

--That’s what I think. What do you think? Comments to: dave@onworldwide.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. Thanks for reading.


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