Let me begin with this disclosure: Some of my examples might not be super local. However, I believe the things I mention in this column deserve consideration from us all.
Frankly, things in the news bother me, particularly the way coverage these days seems to shine light only on singular aspects of a story or issue. For example, on March 12, California Gov. Gavin Newsom put a moratorium on California’s death penalty. Yet, California is one of the least restrictive states in which one can obtain an abortion. A critical question would be this: Why must we preserve the life of one who likely committed a heinous crime (why else would the death penalty be imposed?) if we are going to allow living, unborn children who cannot possibly have committed a crime to be terminated? I have not seen any of the major media outlets debate that question.
Closer to home, Gov. Tony Evers has indicated a desire to decriminalize possession, distribution or manufacture of up to 25 grams of marijuana. That would ignore the law that declares it illegal. Yet, Evers wants to criminalize first-offense drunken driving, making that law more severe. Both laws deal with mind-altering substances, so why the different treatment?
U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Black Earth, recently complained about ICE raids in Wisconsin last September, taking issue with the fact that 39 of the individuals arrested had no criminal histories. Of course, their very presence as undocumented residents with no attempt to correct that status is against the law. Apparently, we are to overlook one violation if no other violations are present?
All this brings me to this question: Which laws should we follow and which should we ignore? How can we justify an immovable position on one side of these arguments as though the other side has no merit? Is it possible that this “one side fits all” posture by leaders is diminishing our ability to think critically about both sides of an argument in favor of an #OnlyMe approach for political gain?
I ask you to consider this: Are we being led into an #OnlyMe way of thinking by the very people we are entrusting with the media megaphones? It seems to me that none of the issues I have mentioned here have a singular correct view.
So why is it that Americans are so convinced that their political view is the only one that matters? Perhaps because as an old adage says, attitude reflects leadership.