Perspective: Winners, Losers, Pea-Shooters

Jan 8, 2021

Politics is a game. It seems that way because there are winners and losers -- and rules.

At least that's what I thought in 1972. I was a young reporter working for the Rockford daily paper ... covering county government and lots of politics.

Political parties clashed, fought for turf and media attention. It was spirited between the R's and the D’s ... but seemed civilized. Because there were limits. Rules.

Over the years, however, I have watched the word "politician" become a slur. So what we did in November 1972 resonates with me now. Now, as we still wait for our Nov. 3 election to be over. I mean really over.

The newspaper hosted a party for winners and losers in the local elections. We provided a whimsical healing moment. And perhaps a bit of lighthearted payback.

The publisher and news staff were herded into the center of a ballroom. This time the newspaper was the target. The ammo was beans. Bags of beans were handed out and loaded into plastic straws by the politicians -- and their wives.

A longtime state rep gave the order to fire. It was a hailstorm. It was a night for laughter, jibes and silly awards.

The publisher closed with a sincere thank you, saying, “Not many people have the real courage to get out there and do the things you do."

I wonder if we could have such a party now?

The political game is still about power and position and the love-hate relationship with the press. But ... the players seem different now. All the players.

And ... I wonder if there are any rules anymore.

I’m Lonny Cain … and that’s my Perspective.