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Commentary: The truth hurts

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William Carter, columnist

William Carter is a retired longtime Franklin city employee and published author. He may be contacted at wcarterfranklin@aol.com.

Even though I consider myself to be somewhat of a writer, I don’t think I could ever adequately describe how sick I am of the divisiveness plaguing our country right now, and as it has been the past few years. 

I don’t know how it all began, either. Not really. Some would say it’s because of the dawning of the age of the 24-hour news cycle or instant communication. Others emphatically point to the creation of the internet and the ensuing horrors of “social” media. Whatever the reasons, I fear the schism between the adamantly opposed factions is too wide to bridge at this point, and all we can do to maintain a functioning, polite society is to avoid, whenever possible, confrontations or altercations with those who don’t agree with our own views and values.  

To be clear, I am a firm advocate of everyone’s freedom to choose their stance on any issue, no matter how amused or horrified or confused I may be about what they believe. And, too, I am weirdly relieved to finally realize, through the miracle of aging, that there are very few people out there who give a damn about what I believe, either. 

It’s hard, still, not to shake my head a little or mutter to myself or laugh a bit when I hear others, obvious sheep who have fallen under the spell of the constant indoctrination we’re all forced to live with these days, loudly and proudly, if somewhat obnoxiously, announcing their views wherever they go as if they expect the rest of us to just abandon our own principles based on their supreme sense of entitlement. They’re on the news a lot, especially this time of year, and, sadly, it seems these people are actually being catered to now in just about every single place of business or restaurant I enter these days. There’s no escaping the insanity; there is nowhere to hide. 

I’ve lost friends, good friends, because of my views, and I can truly admit I don’t regret it at all. In fact, my life has been so much easier since I decided to rid my existence of those whom I consider to be so weak-minded as to fall prey to all of the talking heads on television or the internet who represent nothing more than their own self-interests; who care about little but lining their own pockets. It does confound me, however, that so many people I used to believe were fairly intelligent refuse to accept the fact they are obviously being manipulated by others, those lobbyists or experts or whatever they’re calling themselves, who, by their own accord, are convinced they are smarter than the rest of us. 

So, I’ve asked myself what could I, personally, do about it, and it should come as no surprise to anyone that the answer I came up with is: nothing. There is absolutely nothing I can do at this point in history to change the minds of those I am convinced are so misguided in their beliefs. I can feel bad for them, or maybe mourn for them in some weird way, but, sadly, I cannot change them. We as Americans pride ourselves on our individualism and our freedoms of expression and free speech; our right to choose what we want to believe or not believe regardless of what others may think of us. 

All I can do as a patriotic American who truly believes in the rights granted to me by the Constitution is take comfort that no matter how small my voice may be, it will never be small enough not to be heard. I also understand not everyone will agree with what I have to say, that some may even be enraged by my opinion or may think of me as arrogant or hard-headed. Still, it is my choice to say what I have to say, mandates and media-manipulation be damned, just as it is the choice of others to think me foolish in my views. 

But I just cannot, and will not, be silent any longer about what I truly believe needs to be said: 

Please, for the love of God, please quit babbling and publicly smacking your lips and drooling like imbeciles over Pumpkin Spice whenever September rolls around! I beg you; quit telling me I will like it if I try it! No! I will not like it! I don’t want to try Pumpkin Spice anything! The world does not need Pumpkin Spice cat food or Pumpkin Spice staplers! Pumpkin Spice cheese is gross! I don’t even have to taste it to know it’s gross! Who the hell actually buys Pumpkin Spice beef jerky?!? Why is there Pumpkin Spice salsa? Why?!? You all know fall will happen even without Pumpkin Spice, right? You Pumpkin Spice people have to know this. You just have to. Oh, the holidays will happen, too, without Pumpkin Spice! They will … I promise. So, you don’t actually need a Pumpkin Spice Nativity scene or a Pumpkin Spice scented angel atop your tree to celebrate Christmas. I was born and raised a Southern Baptist, and I’m pretty sure I never heard during the annual retelling of the Greatest Story Ever Told of a fourth Wise Man gifting baby Jesus with a box of Pumpkin Spice. It just didn’t happen.  

The simple fact, y’all, is absolutely no one needs Pumpkin Spice to survive. 

So to sum up my beliefs, you, Pumpkin Spice people, have lost your collective minds. 

The truth hurts, but it had to be said. 

That is all. 

Carry on.

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