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Claremont Courier - A Local Nonprofit Newsroom

Make America great again

If you have been a reader of my column, you know that I’m not a Trump supporter, but I do believe there are things we could do to make life better. Most likely, he and I wouldn’t focus on the same things. There are certainly bigger issues than the ones below, first world problems to be sure, but they are things we can all relate to.
Today we have received five nuisance calls by noon. We can practically set our watches to their timing. Some of them are nonsensical in their repetition. Some have even become memes. How many of us are surprised to find that our car is out of warranty? And how many of us would assume that if we wanted to extend it or reinstate it, our best deal would be found via an unsolicited, random phone call? Or there is the phone bank that calls. These calls always begin with white noise, only to be interrupted by background conversations, and then the “operator” launching into his spiel.
The company is conveniently doing house repairs in the neighborhood and would happily come by and give us an estimate on anything we would like to have done. Another phone service calls telling us that our home qualifies for free solar panels. And then there is the ominous sounding one warning us that a social security number has been compromised. I find these calls all too aggravating. Perhaps I need to get a life. live and let live. I don’t have to answer the phone, after all. But there is always the nagging concern that the phone call might be real, maybe even a notification of an emergency.
It seems like everyone complains about robocalls; in fact, have you ever heard anyone state that he or she is grateful for the unsolicited opportunity to donate to the police or firefighter’s fund, remodel a home, install solar panels, or reinstate a car warranty? Let’s make America great again by at least cutting down on these calls.
We frequently question whether we should keep our landline. Many of our friends have gotten rid of theirs already. Ninety percent of the calls that we receive are unwanted. John and I each have cell phones which have become a necessary appendage, never separated from us. However, living where we do, our cell reception has certainly not improved over the twenty plus years we’ve had them. How many of us plan our calls according to where we will be? Driving up Padua, you will often find a row of cars stopped at the side of the street near where the road widens at Lamonette.
Everyone is on his phone. You can’t go too much further north, though, or you will enter the dead zone from Miramar to Mount Baldy Road. We have zones in our house too. We can stand by the landline in the kitchen or upstairs near the west window in the room we affectionally call the Teen Room. John’s study gets fair reception, the room next door only so-so. The Village presents its own areas of spotty coverage. I’m all for making America great again. Let’s improve cell coverage! Maybe this will be addressed by the money soon to be spent on infrastructure improvements.
And then there is the issue of common courtesy or what frequently gets labeled as political correctness. We all feel it necessary, part of our God-given right as Americans, to share our opinions with whomever we come in contact. I think it comes from years now of being a part of social media; almost every platform allowing us to leave a comment. It’s hard to scroll down Facebook and not leave a thumbs up, an angry face, or a comment. The Claremont Connects page on Facebook has been a great source of information and a platform for us all to comment. A few weeks ago someone shared that he was accosted outside of Trader Joe’s for still choosing to wear a mask. We learned this past week that a fellow resident had her Pride flag ripped down from the eave of her house. Really, what are people thinking?
Are they thinking? Are they reading this column? I seriously doubt it. Why do people feel the need to share their opinions or foist their attitudes on one another? I guess it is what I’m doing right now; however, people can choose to quickly turn the page. I really am saddened by people feeling the need to rip down flags or political signs that they disagree with. Trump campaign signs didn’t make me happy, but I never considered stealing one from a yard.
For me it all comes down to respect. I respect others’ right to display a sign or decorate their yards. It seems American to me. Whether it’s a yard full of patriotic 4th of July bunting or a Christmas winter wonderland, a decorative porch flag or one with a message, signs of hope or peace or love. I respect their right to share their decorations with the world. I respect their property, as well. So yes, let’s make America great again, and practice tolerance for those whom we don’t always see eye to eye with, maybe even those who interrupt our morning cup of coffee with an unsolicited sales pitch.

Steve Harrison

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