Our ‘common ground’ littered


April 21, while protesters were demonstrating in Jefferson City against precautionary delays in re-opening the economy, our county Democrats Club was out picking up trash along a section of Highway 28 near Rosebud.

This right-of-way is public property, owned by all of us, seen by all of us…“common ground” in a sense. 

And yet here it was, littered with the same beer cans, small whiskey bottles and fast food packaging, etc.,  that we’d cleaned up multiple times before, deposited, one suspected, by the same people who had done it before.

When wading through ditches, brambles and ticks on such an errand a person’s given to reflecting on the sort of people who feel entitled to routinely dirty the nest we all live in. What insulates them from a sense of shame? How desperate for a sense of self-importance are these people that they can feel superior by rolling down the window and tossing their trash?

A person also couldn’t help speculate how many of this crowd had made their way to the Capitol to be in the protest. The profile seemed to fit: personal desires rated more important than community interests, macho posturing, this time by disregard for safety, and perhaps even rubbing shoulders with guys holding assault weapons (as has been the orchestrated case in other capitals).

Maybe even more to their liking, is the chance to defy authorities who dare to tell them how to act…as if they know better. If these misfits hadn’t been inclined to protest on their own, how could they resist the tweeted cheerleading of their like-minded President who encouraged “Liberating” states from safeguards so that his election-important economy could be in high gear by November.

As hard as a person may want to view everyone as well-intentioned it’s hard to resist the conclusion that there is a segment of the population, like the litterers, that’s damagingly lost in their own small world of self-centeredness, unqualified “rights,” and echo chamber validation of misinformation.

We appreciate that many people are legitimately hurting and desperately need to get back to work. We’re in this too.  Yet currently four fifths of Americans want a science-led recall to normalcy.

This figure crosses party lines revealing a widespread loss of faith in the judgement of a President who has over exposed his limitations. Even he has lost confidence — his blueprint for recovery is basically, “You governors take over, I’ll be in charge from back here.”

Common sense has to ask, in what self-inflated world are the protesters more qualified than medical experts to decide when it’s appropriate to let down our guard?

We can wish well for these people in the future and continue to seek “common ground” of understanding but at the same time must dutifully resist their tendencies to uncivilize and endanger us in the present.

That’s how we Democrats now are often left feeling…we insist that everyone has value, but their trash doesn’t. It’s part of the great political divide we have in our country…as seen from along a rural section of Missouri highway.


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