Let me make  myself perfectly clear  :   I am a non-partisan, moderate, independent citizen and voter, who prays——-yes, prays——-for more like me , who strive for consensus.  One of our Founding Fathers,   Patrick Henry,  shouted out  ” UNITED WE STAND , DIVIDED WE FALL ” ,  understanding the value of giving a little and taking a little in the name of good will and progress.

Somehow that has lost its way.

Just thinkin’ that maybe a law , at the federal level, should be enacted stating that all registered Democrats be required to watch FOX for a designated  number of hours and all registered Republicans be required to watch MSNBC  for a designated number of hours before they are allowed to vote.

Fantasy, I know, but it makes my point.

We , as television viewers and social media addicts,  have been , subtly but surely, pulled into the ever present, ever pounding, ever relentless world of  ” talking heads ” , those  ” news ”  shows that go on and on day and night.  Facts and opinions are intermingled  , and we, the viewers, too often cannot determine which is which.

I have often said, during my long journey in the world of education, that starting in kindergarten, students should be taught , at every level , the difference in fact and opinion.

I had a dear and very bright friend through the years that kept her television on one of the cable stations 24/7, literally.  She has since died, but I often wonder if she ever really knew what a warped view of our world she was seeing.

I turned to one of these stations this morning just to get a taste of what viewers were seeing and hearing.  And then I turned to the opposition for a different perspective.  What I found was that each had a male and female commentator, that each was  ” preaching ” his/her own perspective on basically the same issues, and that it was pure bias.  No reasonable rationale, no nod of the head to a different idea , no relief from the pounding of opinion  ( with a fact or two thrown in ! ).

It goes without saying that we all appreciate hearing support of our thinking.  Hence the popularity of these  ” talking heads ”  But an open mind is to be valued, and rarely does one opinion represent the whole.

An educated citizenry is the real answer , and try as we might, we have a long way to go on that journey.  A willingness to listen is a ” must ”  and finding a common thread  when all the facts are on the table are  steps toward consensus.  Our electorate determines the direction our President and Congress take , and YOU, my friends  , are the electorate.

LET ME BE CLEAR AGAIN  :  I am neither Democrat nor Republican.  I vote independently, considering each issue and/or candidate on its merit.  I admire our few members of Congress who reach across the aisle, preferring consensus to angst. And I am not an admirer of  ” talking heads ” in either domain.

For what it’s worth ,  Patrick Henry had it right…………………