A curmudgeon, by definition, is a bad-tempered or surly person.
He or she finds fault with almost everything and makes sure you hear about it. Many of the complaints concern trivial issues and it turns out that what the curmudgeon is grumpy about is almost laughable. But there are serious issues that are not funny and the tone and turmoil in our country today demands comment.
This republic is in grave danger and writing about it is difficult because between the time a commentary is written and it hits the press new events overshadow those that were of original concern.
We are closer to chaos today than we have been for more than a century and one has to wonder how we got to this perilous state that endangers the very existence of our nation. Many people place Donald Trump as the cause of the commotion. They insist the president is uncouth, unqualified and undeserving to hold that position. Others blame the conservatives in the Republican Congress who would rather let Trump be Trump and subsequently help them win reelection rather than trying to reign in the nation's leader.
Then there is the Democratic party and the folks on the left who constantly see anything coming from across the aisle as suspect and something that needs a knee jerk negative reaction.
No one contends this nation, blessed as it has been for generations, is without fault. Though a wrenching civil war was fought over the issue, racial prejudice still exists. We still have the rich who too often fail to notice the poor among us. We continue to oppose anything that is "different" and we have done little to improve the lives of our neighbors, especially if they look, think or pray differently than we do.
Worst of all, we fail to listen.
When one side makes a proposal, the other is not listening but rather compiling its response. Everything we foster, everything we believe in is correct while anything proposed by the opposition is anathema.
Without even trying, we stumbled into this state of the union today. Where tolerance, understanding and cooperation are needed, we have hate. Instead of putting the good of the country ahead of individual agendas, we have tunnel vision blocking out reason and common sense.
Enough is enough.
It is time to accept the fact that no one in the political world is without guilt. No one running our country, from president to community leader, has made all the right moves to steer this ship of state through troubled waters. Continue sailing down the course we are on and clearly this republic will sink of its own doing.
From a curmudgeon's point of view, the situation in our great country is perilous. The old saying about "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" was applicable to our democracy, but not anymore.
Calling opponents liars, thugs and crooks is not the way to work our way back to reason. Lying to partisans about history, distorting facts about one side's Obamacare stance and the other's war strategy does not help either.
I don't know if anyone else has changed his or her morning routine, but I have. Getting out of bed each morning I now turn on the television to get assurance that nothing drastic or devastating has happened overnight.
So when rating the condition of our great land, its leadership and its hell-bent-for-leather careening towards disaster, I have to say it rates a 12 on our 1 to 10 blood boiling scale.
God help us survive this critical crisis. It doesn't look like the folks in Washington will.
Winslow recently moved to Williamsburg, but has written his Curmudgeon Report for more than a dozen years. He wonders how rapidly your blood is boiling on this issue? Let him know at firstname.lastname@example.org.