Steve Sauder is president of Emporia's Radio Stations, Inc. the owners of KVOE-AM 1400, Country 101.7 and Mix 104.9. Steve has been in a leadership position with ERS, Inc., since 1987.
The recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia defy explanation for most of us. When people travel far to protest something that doesn't really have a direct bearing on them that’s typically - code for trouble.
Both the so-called Alt-Right and Alt-Left were itching for a fight as they both arrived locked and loaded.
After the incident it was amazing how quickly the national media made this about Donald Trump and what he did not say opposed to what happened.
Trump, who I did not vote for, blamed "many sides" in his statement and he condemned bigotry and violence, but did not mentioning racism or any groups like the KKK or White Supremacists. His broad condemnation might have been wise given the uncomfortable experience of his predecessor following the Ferguson, Missouri event.
Could this confrontation been avoided? Some believe it was inevitable.
Consider with me "the rest of the story" that seems to have gotten lost.
First, an attempt by the city of Charlottesville to deny the permit to assemble based on the probable violence was opposed by the ACLU and struck down by a federal judge.
Secondly, The Mayor of Charlottesville said part of his city's preparation for the weekend was to move the permitted gathering to a large park outside of town.
BUT, that plan too was struck down at nine o'clock on Friday night by a federal judge! That’s correct! The ACLU and a federal judge stopped the city of Charlottesville from two plans that might well have defused the riots.
One has to wonder how this might have been different had it been in a large open area opposed to inside the city? Guess we’ll never know?
One last thought.
In Virginia people showed up carrying clubs, dressed in uniforms and some were wearing helmets. They came prepared for battle.
At the same time in the Emporia area we had people with clubs, uniforms and helmets, but our uniforms were pink golf attire or spandex for biking, our clubs were golf clubs and the helmets were for biking thru the Flint Hills.
You see we spent the weekend lifting up Breast Cancer Awareness with a golf tournament in Osage City, a bike journey under the stars into the Flint Hills with over 300 participating - some also from out of state and our local policemen were bragging about their victory over the fire fighters in their annual Battle of the Badges for blood donations.
Quite the contrast and a blessing for which we can be thankful!
I’m Steve Sauder and there’s something to think about!
My dad once said to me, "thank God I'm old cause I really don't want to see how this ends!"
That was in response to some political activity that seemed out of line.
What do you suppose he'd be saying today?
Polarization in Washington is unchecked! Republican's have the numbers but aren't close to agreeing on anything.
The Democrats are so opposed to anything Republican there is no chance for compromise. I asked our Congressman Roger Marshall on Monday how often he has dialogue with the other side?
His answer was - he leads an effort for freshman in congress to meet and talk, but otherwise - not often.
Yesterday on Morning Joe – West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin described be in congress as “working in a hostile work environment!” Seriously!
Then we have the media.
It's fair to say the national media has always been a little biased, but what we have today is embarrassing.
Phil Donahue the former talk show host was on CNN two weeks ago and took the media to task. He said the media was making relations worse than necessary because they wouldn't take a punch - meaning they needed to report the news, not react to it.
The creators of the animated TV show South Park shared an interesting reaction to the current political climate and have a wonderful plan for next season.
They said, "We fell into the same trap that Saturday Night Live fell into, where it was like, "Dude, we're just becoming CNN now, becoming: 'Tune in to see what we're going to say about Trump.'
They said “they hated it, but we got stuck in it somehow."
They said they could put up billboards saying—"Look what we're going to do to Trump next week!"—and get crazy ratings. But they don't care.
Next season South Park plans to ignore the political scene!
That's my suggestion for CNN, FOX and CSNBC and the other national media groups - start reporting the news again and get out of the "gottcha" mode of trying to catch someone not telling the truth in every story.
Actually reporting “the news” might mean even ignoring the President's tweets. Wouldn’t that might be refreshing?
Heaven help us!
I’m Steve Sauder