There is only one contested race for city council coming up. That would be Edward F. “Ted” Horne, incumbent, being challenged by John Halverson, former managing editor of the Lake Geneva Regional News. What can be made of this competition that the public might not know about, but might consider vital? That this single small District Two competition may reveal more about the community’s foundation than anyone might guess, from the outside looking in?
Who is behind Horn and who is behind Halverson? How about mayor Alan “Straight Arrow” Kupsik backing Horn, and former mayor Jim “Quiet Player” Connors, backing Halverson? Is this an ‘in the trenches down and dirty’ struggle between the new forces that have swept into office in Lake Geneva (well, except for “Cordwood” Kordus, that is) and the good old boys? Lake Geneva politics are notably cleaner, brighter and “more on top of the table” than ever before. Would Halverson’s successful pursuit to become an alderperson be a step to the rear, and a return to the “good old days,” or is Connors’ support of him merely an endorsement from just another citizen in that district? If Halverson leans the Connors way, then can the direction and slant of the Regional News stories not be analyzed back in time to figure out whether that paper supported those good old boys all along when they held sway over the town?
Oakfire Demolition and Rebuild
Donald Trump will be inaugurated President of the United States on Friday and the nation will begin going through a process of change. There seems to be little doubt that change is about the only descriptor for the direction the executive leader of the country will approach handling his job. The old tried and true method of figuring out what is happening, when it comes to what is coming from decisions made in the White House, has been tossed out and a new bifurcated system has been put in place. Instead of the mass media being informed in detail about how official intent is to be acted upon, the new method will revolve about having some of the information revealed to the media but then a ‘back chatter’ system of nightly revelations will likely continue using Mr. Trumps Twitter account. Using this system allows the president to feel like he is communicating directly with the public instead of being interpreted by others and then that distilled message reaching the public.
There is no precedent to this new system of communication, because the about to be former president is the only one who’s served in office since Twitter became popular and he used it seldom. If pre-inauguration communications are any guide, it becomes apparent that the two “messages” delivery functions from the White House are very probably going to have little to do with one another. The recent treatment of a prominent civil rights leader illustrates this kind of different message delivery dilemma. Officially, Mr. Trump lauded the civil rights leader to the mass media and the media dutifully reported that. Later, sitting at his computer, Mr. Trump completely trashed the man in just about ever important area of the man’s character. The public was, and remains, wondering about which message is the valid message.
As this new administration takes over, this communications system could spiral into a nightmare of misunderstandings and quite possibly lead to extremely serious consequences. Most human decisions are not made based upon the analytical information available. Most human decisions are made out of emotional reaction, infused with that analytical information. It would give every appearance, only days from this inauguration, that the population of the United States is about to enter a time period of high emotions and more Quixotic decision making. What that will lead to is anybody’s guess. A final point that may be made, prior to this coming event, is that whatever happens the result is going to be interesting and entertaining. Never forget, however, that less than a hundred years ago most humans gathered in public places to watch other humans being executed in rather awful ways, and they thought that it was interesting and entertaining.