The Road Less Traveled

Maloney's Pub - Hammondsport, New YorkAs a nation we always have the choice to travel to the right or to the left. But the true path to our collective wellbeing is probably somewhere in the middle–especially if there is a good tavern at the fork in the road”    Chris Poh 

The midterm election of 1962 was supposed to be a good year for Republicans, but then that pesky communist from Kalinovka Nikita Khrushchev decided to plant nuclear missiles in Fidel Castro’s patch of the Caribbean. And the toughness and leadership skills shown by John Fitzgerald Kennedy skyrocketed his job approval, and saved the political careers of many vulnerable Democrats that rode back into office on the coattails of their Commander-in-Chief.

Jupiter Ballistic MissileEven as a young boy of seven, I can remember those ominous warnings issued by the President, Walter Cronkite and whatever nun I had in second grade, as they stood in front of maps that showed just how short the route from America to Armageddon really was. In spite of the fear, paranoia, distrust and time spent under my desk in preparation for the nuclear winter—I really grew to like looking at maps. Today I still prefer my Rand McNally Atlas over the latest GPS technology. I like the overview of the journey, the chance to consider where I’ve been and where I hope to go. I also like being able to carefully consider all the possibilities before choosing which road to take—as opposed to being told which way to go by some voice coming out of an electronic box. When it comes to making political decisions I chart a similar course of action.

Unfortunately, most voting Americans use a form of GPS when deciding who will be worthy of holding elected office. The angry and the anxious, with little thought of what lies ahead, mindlessly listen to voices coming out of a box that tell them to turn right or left in order to reach their destination—and then wonder why they always wind up back at the same place from which they started. Regrettably, those lacking the benefit of a good map and a functioning compass are again about to determine the direction of the country. And this is simply because not enough of our citizens show up to vote.

If our politicians were assured that most Americans would come to the polls, they would be more prone to compromise and craft policies that would better serve the majority. But as long as our elected officials in Washington are facing the possibility of being unelected by a minority of angry extremists on either side of the political divide, they will continue to pander to their base, and to only serve the needs of those contributing special interests.

While the entire staff at American Public House Review is unanimously opposed to reinstating the closure of taverns on Election Day, we want to remind our readers to exercise their civic responsibility. Before you beat a path to your favorite bar spend some time on the road less traveled—find your way to the voting booth.

Posted by: Chris Poh

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