He’s heard it all. What he hasn’t seen he can easily imagine.
In a recent meeting at The Press, U.S. Sen. Jim Risch fought back a bemused grin last week when a dismal picture of these United States was being painted.
The speaker was telling Risch, 76, about Democrats afraid that Trump won’t abdicate the White House if he’s beaten in 2020. Potential violence of apocalyptic proportions fuel those fears.
The speaker then shared a recent email from a Hayden resident who wrote:
“I feel we are ripe for another civil war....and it won’t be about “Racism”! This situation is exactly why the 2nd Amendment was enacted, to protect the common citizen from a out of control Government!”
At that point, the grin won.
“This kind of stuff is a sliver on each end,” Risch told the Press editorial board. “This isn’t representative of America.”
Our nation has been through a revolution, a civil war, two World Wars “and Jimmy Carter,” the two-term Republican senator quipped. And then the former Idaho lawyer, state senator, lieutenant governor and governor held up exhibit A as ample reason to believe in an enduring and an endearing America.
He said one of his great privileges as a senator is nominating outstanding young Idahoans to appointments in four branches of military service: The U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Risch said he meets with the nominees and their families, and each time his confidence in the future is burnished to a golden optimism.
“You never hear about these kids,” he said, offering a not-so-subtle hint that perhaps the local newspaper should make sure people hear about them. “When you meet with them and their parents, you come away… feeling really good.”
Fear, unfortunately, flourishes in the dark spaces where people feel threatened. The unprecedented number of sources getting rich or gaining power by using fear as their primary weapon is public enemy No. 1, largely because it isn’t always recognized as the destructive force that it is.
Feeling down? Threatened? Pessimistic? Maybe you’re just hanging out in the wrong places. A change of scenery with a broader perspective might do wonders.