Two subjects people have difficulty discussing are politics and war. They are such hot topics that many people avoid the subjects completely or they rely solely on emotion without suffusing their arguments with facts.
On the international scene I have noticed the last two weeks that there is enormous emotion expressed about the war in Ukraine.
The coverage in national newspapers and Facebook is astounding, but from my acquaintances locally and my family, I hear very little.
What I am taking away from this phenomenon is that people in general do not like to talk about unpleasant topics. It is the exception rather than the rule to do so.
I wrote recently about the bipartisanship in the country that was evolving out of the war in Ukraine. That is cause for celebration were it not for the great tragedy that is taking place there.
On the local scene and among most people I know however, life goes on without much attention being displayed either for the tragedy in the Ukraine or for bipartisanship which is a rare thing these days.
In Newport Beach, which is usually highly partisan, I see no signs of it—either excitement or disdain. The local papers do not talk about war or national politics, and seemingly neither do the people.
Personally I get excited about both but I let others bring up the subject. Among my friends on Facebook, Zelenskyy is considered the greatest international hero of modern times.
In a gift store that I was in this week in Newport Beach there was a bowl by the door and pieces of paper on which you were to write down the name of “your hero.”
The only name I could think of was Zelenskyy. I don’t think that was the answer the proprietors were looking for, not locally anyway.
As we approach the fall elections, I have a feeling people will be more forthcoming in expressing their opinions about local politics which have become quite colorful in Newport Beach, especially this year as many council seats open up.
Also, there is a controversial initiative about electing the mayor. The local papers will be full of opinion pieces, especially about the mayoral issue Already there has been plenty of publicity on that.
On a personal basis, all levels of politics have become interesting to me since I retired. I get excited about the possibility of local, national and international heroes. In Newport Beach the mayoral issue interests me just slightly more than the council openings.
Granted, the local elections may not seem important in the overall scheme of things, but making things right at home is a beginning.
Is it too much to wish for to get a Zelenskyy at the local or national level?
Lynn Lorenz / Newport Beach