BERNARD COLUMN: Come together right now

Published 9:30 am Tuesday, August 2, 2022

By Jack Bernard
Georgia humor columnist

The ‘60s were a time of great upheaval; we can all agree on that one point. John Lennon wrote that “come together” song way back in 1969, but we are no closer to coming together today. With the 1-6-21 riot and the damning material that has come out at the House Committee hearings, many would argue that the USA is in more politically unstable times right now than it was in the 60s. 

Anyway, I met my best friend right around that turbulent time. He lived in the single wide trailer right next to mine. I was an idealistic poverty program worker right out of college who had a wife and two kids living in that tiny space. He was a divorced truck driver originally from coal mining country.

I ended up with a master’s degree, left humanitarian pursuits, eventually became a corporate senior vice president, and fully retired in my early 50s. My best friend (who lives in Henry County) never graduated from high school and worked until he was 75 driving a truck. 

He’s a cultural conservative. I clearly am not. But in over 50 years, we have stayed very close … and we have not had an argument.

Why? Because we respect each other.

We say what we are going to say about our positions; we listen to the other guy; and then we simply move on. 

He does not call me an out-of-touch elitist socialist liberal. I don’t call him a know-nothing reactionary. Well, on second thought, maybe we do call each other some names. But we do it jokingly. Again, because we respect and love each other. 

I know that he sharper than me (and most others) when it comes to anything mechanical. He knows that I’m smart when it comes to “book learning.” And we both have a lot of common sense. Enough to know that we are not getting told the straight story by either the liberal (MSNBC, CNN) or conservative (Fox, OAN, Newsmax) news networks. Or by many national politicians in either party who simply want to manipulate us to get elected.

Our nation is at a crossroads. We have some politicians that want us to argue and fight. Others want us to come together and work as a united people toward a common goal. 

When you vote in 2022 and 2024, research the candidates, on the local, state and national levels. It is up to each of us to distinguish the disingenuous “haters” from the good people.

Vote for someone who has an admirable personal record and reflects your values as an American. Someone you would be proud to say you voted for.

Not someone who you despise but voted for anyway to stick it to “the man.”

And not someone your party leaders have told you to vote for without saying exactly why.