Whenever I get commentator’s block and have difficulty coming up with a topic for these little radio moments of mine, I consult with my think tank. I have a pretty small think tank. It consists of just Hank and Lucy. And, to tell the truth, there are occasional communication difficulties due to the fact that Hank and Lucy are dogs, Airedales to be exact, and I am not.
Still, they usually manage to be understood through various means. Sometimes they rely on decibel levels, much like TV news discussion shows. Other times they can be more subtle, using a system of nose nudges and tail wags. And now and then they resort to whines and whimpers that sound a lot like the political robocalls we all get this time of year.
So I took my blank state of mind directly to this canine pair. “What should I comment on?” I asked them. Then I went down the list of usual subjects: the Governor, the weather, social issues, the Governor, environmental issues, education, the Governor, economics, pop culture…nothing got a reaction.
“Okay,” I finally said. “I know what matters most to you two. Squirrels, right?” Their eyes widened and their tails jerked. It’s what they get most excited about. Squirrels. The opposition. The other side. Whenever a squirrel is sighted it must immediately be chased back up into a tree!
I’m the same way, really. I keep thinking the other political side should just stay up in their tree. Instead, they are my neighbors. They go to my church. We do business together. And over and over I find them to be less like the image of them I carry around in my head, and more like, well, myself. Just folks who love their families, enjoy their friends and are trying to figure out what this life thing is all about.
It might even be true that, from the other political side’s perspective they are the dogs and I’m the squirrel.