Bring back Fireside chats! The distraction of differing opinions is deafening.


Today, as I was drinking my morning coffee, scanning recent news articles, and thinking about the plot twist in Season 5 of The Last Kingdom on Netflix– the appreciation and dread for instantaneous news hit me.

For example- if there had been cell phones and instant news, Uhtred probably could have stopped the battle between Edward and Sigtryggr with two phone calls and a text- and one of my favorite characters wouldn’t have needed to die.

And then I started wondering why I spent an hour every day reading the worldwide updates? It is rarely ever good news. So what joy does it bring me? Does it help me make informed decisions for my family and myself? Will we sit as a family and discuss it over dinner? Will it give me the needed information to make appropriate changes to my lifestyle to succeed in the future?

I could have chosen not to hear/read about rising gas prices, homes becoming unfordable, the rising tension within the United Nations, the death and destruction being thrown upon the people of Ukraine, and that this war has brought the world to the brink of a food crisis.

I could have chosen instead to watch random TickyTok videos of goats wearing diapers and running around the house, dogs in Bow-Ties helping to make dinner or my favorite- random Alaskan videos.

I could have scrolled through Facebook to see photos of what people ate for dinner last night, the newest makeup trends, or 87 pictures of a family vacation to Ohio. But, of course, I would have to bypass the 147 ads for an online Ph.D. program, new windows for my home, snow removal companies, and the hula hoop weighted workout thingy.

I could have revisited Twitter; however, I never really understood that platform because it was all ‘shares’ from Facebook- with fewer words. And half the time, I don’t know what I am reading because there are so many hashtags of random different things. For instance- I saw a picture of a dog swimming in a pool, the caption read- ‘Getting ready for summer bod.’ Easy. It made sense. Then there were two paragraphs of #s!

#summerfun, #workingout, #dog’slife, #doglover, #mommyofadog, #getthatbodyyoulove, #waterforlife, #waterfun, #dogslivesmatter, #mydogisbetterthanyours, #pitlove, #ishouldbeatthegym, #toomuchtimeonmyhands, #iphonecameraisthebest, #ishouldbedoinghousework, #dontmindmymessyyard

You get the point! What do all those hashtags even do? Do they go somewhere?

Where did this need for instant visual/audio news come from? I blame President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who, by chance, started his ‘fireside chats’ this day in 1933. Now, at that time- the delivery platform was a radio- but it was the concept of being informed by your elected official that spoke to the American people. It was the idea that the person running your country, making the big decisions that will affect your life- was approachable, understandable, and inviting.

That first ‘fireside chat’ that President Roosevelt gave was on the banking system being overrun by terrified Americans who heard that Wall Street had crashed again and were all very broke. The country was at the lowest point of the Great Depression; up to 33% percent of the country was unemployed, and it seemed a very gray moment for the nation. BUT- President Roosevelt acknowledged the fears, gave legitimacy to the concerns, and then offered a solution. The banks were only closed to stop the surge of panicked investors, and they would open the next day. He then thanked the public for their understanding and fortitude on why he had declared a ‘banking holiday.’

For everyone who listened- it was calming. It was enough to subside fears and misunderstanding. They had just heard from the President, someone who had their best interest at heart. The nation was going to make it through, and they would do it together.

Fast forward 89 years- this is what I learned today.

Gas prices are up to over $5.00 a gallon in some cities, and it will primarily affect the middle and lower class. Travel will be almost non-existent this summer because airlines will charge us more, but it is okay for business class and first-class passengers because they will get preferred treatment based on the cost of their tickets instead of how much they travel.

Current gas prices are Russia’s fault because they went to war with Ukraine. But then again, it could be because of inflation. Or it could be the oil business’s fault because they raised the prices and didn’t care about the little people. D Haan, the head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, also blamed it because CDC lifted COVID-19 restrictions- now that people can visit family, they should pay more? Finally, I saw one news article accusing the government of stopping the construction of the Keystone pipeline, which led to increasing gas prices.

People! Which one is it? Is it a combination of all of that? Why did I read seven different news articles to get competing answers from highly acclaimed professionals?

The point to this rambling? Is that this blog is just as confusing as the news propelled by our news outlets, social media outlets, and by what we hear from our elected officials.

Too much information can be just as defeating as too little information. For example, it took 45 minutes, 19 news articles, and five videos to learn that no one can give us a pinpoint reason why there is still a backlog to mail.

I would like to see a return of fireside chats—a location where I can get all the information in a readable and comprehensive format—a site where news is given without the bling of personal opinions and distractions of weight loss plans.

I would like to hear my elected officials talk to the nation cohesively and understandably. I do not want to listen to accusations, spiteful jabs, and if someone made a mistake- I would like to hear ownership of it, just like ordinary people do in relationships.

My secondary want is an understanding of all people in this nation that their problems or concerns will not always be the number 1 priority. It does not mean it will never be; it just means the screaming, rioting, and temper tantrums should not be the solution. Everyone has a voice- it is the backbone of democracy, but those voices overlap each other into just noise and no finalization.

However, then this led me down a rabbit hole of questions- all leading to one pivotal moment. What should be the number 1 priority? Who’s mission is more important?

Is there an answer to this? Maybe this is why we don’t do fireside chats anymore? Because regardless of the problem, solution, and possible outcome, someone is not going to be happy?

Does anyone have a solution?

Published by Rose Geer-Robbins

One does not simply become a famous writer! It takes many hours before the sun comes up and even more when the sun sets. I am never sure what world I am living in, the one that I am writing or reality.

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