This is a political opinion piece. It is not a far-left scream at the far right, and it is not a far right think tank article. I’m not going to be hugging Tucker Carlson and I won’t be saluting Anderson Cooper. I’m just going be vulnerable and open myself up about where I fall on the political spectrum and the direction. I fear we are going in this country. A country that has fallen onto a deep, dark and complicated road that has a lack of wholistic vision and compassion.

I have no political party that connects to me. I am a fiscal conservative. I believe we should pay our bills. My wife had beaten that into me. Every month she pays off my credit card and accounts for every penny we have spent. It hurts.

Try sitting by your wife as she yells from the dining room table, “Did we really need to buy a25th Indiana Hoosier T-shirt!? In shame, and like a 12-year-old who stole a quarter from another 12-year-old, I yell, “I had to have it.” Then she says yells, “No more shirts.” I say, “OK honey.” Then I go on Amazon and buy the sweetest Hoosier jacket you ever saw.
After all I didn’t lie. I didn’t buy a shirt technically. I just purchased a jacket. The Supreme Court can try my case.

All kidding aside my wife has gained us sound and solvent economic footing buy purchasing creative gift cards, cutting coupons, planning 2-for-1s like a ninja sneaking stealthy through the forest and making sure we don’t spend more than we take in.

Our government could learn much about writing checks you cannot cash. In fact, maybe I’m wrong here, it is a crime to write bad checks and our governments seem to do it with great ease and regularity.

I say put Mrs. Hale in charge. I’d love to see my wife grab Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and cut off the wasteful spending and lecture them like she lectures me. She would scream at them both in shrill tones that it isn’t their money and that it's ours. Then she’d cut up their credit cards while they watched.

Socially I’d say I’m a liberal, yet I think the liberal agenda can be way out of my political leanings. I believe moderation is a word that liberals could find in their dictionaries and thesauruses and put to better use in political arena.

However, I am not going to lie to you -- I am deeply committed to caring for the elderly, children, those individuals that have special needs and those how need help to get back on their feet in this country. If it costs tax dollars for those groups, then we need to cinch up our belts and go without to make sure those in need are cared for in every avenue. If that means fewer bombs and tanks, then we cut those items from the budget.

I am a strict Constitutionalist, but I feel some limits should be put on gun ownership in our country. Yet I am bright enough to understand law-abiding citizens are the only ones punished by gun edicts and laws. Criminals could care less about gun laws and gun purchase requirements.

I believe the Constitution can be changed, amended and flexible. It is a magical document that protects majorities and minorities in our wonderous country at the same time. It limits government interventions, yet our government doesn’t seem to have a problem intervening in our lives.

However, we need to do a better job of reforming a legal system that lets the rich navigate the halls of our court rooms with impunity while minority groups are incarcerated at much higher rates than their white counterparts.

The legal system needs to be fair and just for all. I just think a brown citizen should be judged exactly the same as a white one. Surely a system that has balanced judicial scales can be reformed and created.

In my political journey I probably am not going to vote for Republican Illinois State Representative Dan Caulkins.

My brother was trapped in an unnamed nursing home that was ravaged by COVID-19. As a family, we felt his care was sub-standard and he was in danger. Mr. Caulkins reached out and fought for us. Showed my family unbelievable compassion and kindness. He represented us even though I could not and would not do anything for him in the halls of Springfield and yet he helped me anyway. All I know is he pulled a thorn out of my paw and I am deeply in his debt.

You can hate his politics. I’ll never shout down the man.

I love our Mayor in Decatur. Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe is a woman of uncommon character and a Decatur supporter and servant. I have family members and friends that would shout at her in church if they got the chance. All I know is this I have never doubted her belief and service to this community and her willingness to listen and lead. She allows for decent and debate and even though she is ridiculed and ripped publicly she leads and stands in the breech.

When COVID-19 ravaged this city, many disagreed with her policies and mandated enforcements. When our state leaders punted on fourth down and did nothing about COVID, Mayor Moore Wolfe grabbed the rope and made tough unpopular decisions for Decatur. Mayor Moore Wolfe, I’ll proudly hold the rope with you.

I hope you disagree with my ramblings and ravings. Those disagreements make and have made this country great and led us to the middle on debates that should have torn our country apart. I love it when someone stands up and says something and my inner self says, “Man, I never thought of it that way.” I love the arguments and clashes that make everyone in the room better if they truly listen. My fear is we’ve stopped listening to each other and now we’ve dug into our trenches and the middle ground is now filled with traps and land mines. Traps that will lead us to tear each other apart and leave us in pieces. Just know one old fat man has a roll of Scotch tape and he’ll give piecing it back together a good try.