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“Torturing turpentine,” I thought that would be a fabulous name for a novel, likely autobiographical. I spend a great deal of time torturing turpentine which I must admit is a far better choice than actually drinking it. Don’t drink the blue kool-aid, people.

It’s a term that comes from endless political debates, especially on the internet, where without fail, eventually someone is going to just yell “Nazi,” accuse you of hating puppies, and imply your motivations are downright evil. Why than, do we persist? We’re obviously just torturing turpentine here.

Bringing this conversation down to the local level, we persist because we have some issues in our community, some problems, some things that break my heart. I’ve been trying to fix the broken world since forever, but it becomes much more urgent when it is actually on my front porch, invading my world. That’s the essence and heart of politics. How best to fix a  broken world or to at least create some form of civilization that allows us to survive.

So, we have some issues here related to housing, the economy, unemployment, poverty, addiction, drugs, suicide, broken families, a whole slew of misery that there is a great deal of denial about. The kids, watching the toll it takes on kids, that the hardest part. It can be really maddening too, really crazy making, when your leadership cannot hear you, will not listen to you.

Like when you watch people suffer the misery of meth and heroin addiction, read about a good drug bust involving several “non citizen importers,” all while your city council vehemently declares we are going to be sanctuary city. If you can’t see the unconditional goodness of all immigrants, always, you’re  obviously just a Nazi who hates puppies. Trust me, my voice is silenced and the conversation is closed. One simply cannot reason with endless hyperbole and hysteria.

I have come to the conclusion however, that the cure for what ails us is not politics or money. We throw so much money at things, like the hundreds of thousands of dollars we’ve thrown at studying the homeless problem, which the experts declare isn’t really much of a problem anyway. A much greater issue is your drug problem which no one really knows how to fix anyway….

Hope! The solution is hope. You give people hope, something to  believe in, a future, an economy, a feeling of investment in their community. Hope, faith, love, investment, a voice. Alas, these things don’t sell well, especially in a very secular community. But that is the essence of the cure for what ails us. Hope.

I wish to tread lightly here, because while my obvious bias may come through in my blogging, meaning I do not land on the liberal end of things, I really don’t have  a partisan loyalty or a party. I much prefer people coming together and solving problems, like how to infuse your entire community with some form of hope.

I really appreciated Night Wind’s post recently, called THE BLUE-STATE COCAINE EPIDEMIC. Believe it or not, I am actually encouraged by these bits of grim news. One might even say they give me hope because they indicate that there are people in positions of leadership somewhere who see these things, people who care, because  I have long been a bit of collateral damage engaged in a battle that one could well call, torturing turpentine.