Sandburg’s thoughts on an election lost … note to Dave: sausage is a prime ingredient in low country boil

The election has come and gone. 

To be honest about it, I feel it is a populace gone awry. Already, Pres.-elect Trump is moving to scale back climate change – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the new administration. The kids will hear more about my disappointment – and hope – in this week’s letter (note: letters are delayed here one week so Ellen and Reid can read them first).

I wonder what Pulitzer winner Carl Sandburg would think of us now? How would he view his single issue, racist and (in my view) uneducated common man and the collective betterment of America? Taken aback, perhaps? I think, too, it’s important for Ellen and Reid to know that there is a communal good at stake.

But how we fare in the coming four years is for historians to decide, rather then common men like me.

November 7, 2016

Ellen/Reid: So this is it, the final 24 hours until the election madness/chaos is at last over. That is, until the next election cycle begins next year when 2020 candidates start to jockey for position. By the time this reaches you, the results will be old news. Hopefully not of the shocking variety. That Trump reached this far says something about us, none of which is good. Suffice to say, this election stuff, national and local, is completely off the edge and out of control. The process is contrived and way too long. And it’s all mud slinging and posturing and ‘I’m louder than you’ and single issue mentality and mean-spirited partisanship.

I wonder where all of this will end up taking us, and at what speed. Yesterday I took another drive to check out Hendersonville, North Carolina and one of my stops was Carl Sandburg’s house in neighboring Flat Rock. Sandburg was a Pulitzer winner and his writing often dwelled on his hope for, and confidence in, the collective resolve and unifying spirit of the common man who could push the country forward as one entity. I wonder what Sandburg would think of us now as we devolve to pettiness and single issues with no attempt at civility or discourse or considered thought. Already, Republican senators dismiss the idea of any notion of action on the Supreme Court vacancy if Trump isn’t in. They’ve institutionalized, and thus made okay, the idea of petty politicization. Where are leaders who can set that aside? But that horse has long since left the barn.


This photo doesn’t match any topic in this post. It was during my Monday walk at Renaissance Golf Course. The Carolina blue sky reminded me of hope in the light of a new day. That may be the best we have with our new administration.

There’s too much money, too much super-PAC and super-organizational control already in play, and too many puppet masters pulling our strings; the Koch Bros., et al. I told a friend in the midst of the Sandburg tour that in some ways we have too much freedom of expression if we can’t find a common ground on literally anything. I know this sounds naive, but I think the demise is in part informational since too many people are told what to think rather than how to think. We have too much loose ‘information’ at our disposal, grabbing at us from all directions in short takes, quips or sound bites, almost none of it vetted, checked, verified. Spin has replaced fact and studied self determination. I fall into that trap, too. Ellen, we’ve got to have a solid educational system to help people learn to think as well as do. We’ve thrown in the towel on public education and that’s a crying shame. The sheep will be herded and the uniformed masses told where to go and what to think. Sandburg has to be spinning in his grave.


I know I have waffled on the move. Call it a form of buyer’s remorse. I go back and forth, back and forth, hence the 94 mile ‘what if’ trips to Hendersonville. The thing that keeps my head above water move-wise are the photos and FaceTime with the girls. That’s what keeps me in forward motion. Tomorrow my Realtor, Laura, will have an open house luncheon for her real estate cohorts. I’ll bake bread to create an enticing aroma. She knows that my tact is to stay the course; the house will sell. It is at the right price, the single non-conforming comp be damned. I know it. I tell you, when you toss in the election turmoil and the house non-sale and a Harley that’s sitting in the garage, then it’s no wonder my attitude is the way it is.

About 18 people came over for low country boil on Friday night and we had a great, loud time. Of course, the ditz in me was in full flower when I forgot to add several pounds of spicy sausage to the kettles; people unloaded on me, good naturedly, about that unforgivable oversight. They called it a ‘pescatarian’ meal. I mean, how can anyone forget to add sausage? It tasted alright but yeesh, what a monumental goof up. Someone mentioned to ‘get over it’ and pour myself another glass of red wine. I did.

Love, Dad

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Filed under Writing to adult children

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