Faith in human nature – or not?

I was working on postcards at the Democrats’ office during the 2012 campaign when a woman came in from a Republican event. She was very upset – not by the opposing party, but by one of our own. A volunteer with our party had gone to the event for the opposition. Instead of simply listening and gathering information, she acted out. She spit on a Romney supporter, who then scratched her in retaliation. The woman who had been there kept repeating, “Is this what we’ve come to? Is this really what we’ve come to?” Her faith in human nature was on the downswing at that moment.

Within a day, the “spitter” was kicked off the campaign staff, and the coordinator had made it clear that this was not behavior that would be tolerated. All of us were to keep to the high road. My faith in human nature was restored.

This happened four years ago. Today’s headlines are so full of ups and downs that my confidence jumps like a jackrabbit.

Flint, Michigan sickens its population with lead in their public water system: down. State officials and high-level locals are outed as having known about the problem and both ignored it and lied about it while they themselves drank bottled water. Down, down, down.

Plumbers travel to Flint to install water filters in people’s homes – free of charge. Up.

My alderman posts an update for her constituents informing us of the process our city uses for water treatment. She gives enough detail that we can feel safe drinking the water. Up.

I find out that Good Ole’ Boy Next Door Peyton Manning not only acts in Papa John’s commercials, he supports the same far-right wing candidates with his own donations. Manning also owns a Papa John’s franchise where the pizza is overpriced and the staff is underpaid. This is a downer – a big downer.¬†I might just have to cheer for Cam Newton and his Panthers.

A new potential pandemic virus rears its ugly head in Brazil, the host country for upcoming 2016 ¬†Summer Olympic Games. Why should this Zika virus be a downturn for my faith in human nature? This virus is passed on by mosquitoes, and current strategies include spraying many gallons of pesticides throughout the cities where the presence of the virus has been confirmed. Problem? Think DDT, people. Does anyone know the effects of these pesticides? We thought DDT was safe, too…until…just ask the neighborhood bald eagle.

Our wacky governor signs into law a bill allowing concealed carry of – switchblades. Yep, switchblades. This only a matter of days after he signed a law authorizing a new color for hunting; blaze pink. What the –?

And so it goes – good news, bad news, better news, worse news, and news that makes me think the world is spiraling down the toilet. Maybe, just maybe, I should get offline and get something else done. Maybe I’ll clean the bathroom.

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