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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Insulation

I've been watching the violence and mayhem surrounding the Donald Trump presidential campaign.

I don't care who is responsible or the source of their motivation.  I do care about what will happen as a result.

The bottom line is there will be even more insulation of our candidates and public officials.  I get the need for security and safety.  That's extremely important.

But, it's also important to have access to these people.  They affect our lives.  It might be fair to say they rule our lives.  The threat of violence puts them behind barriers, and that's never good.

I was telling a photographer about the good old days recently.  I covered one of George Bush's visit to the area when he was vice president.  I was on the radio, and used to carry a huge cassette recorder.  Security looked at it and asked me to turn it on, to prove it was actually a cassette recorder.  I complied, and I was through the line.

Presidential candidate Walter Mondale visited Wilkes-Barre just before the 1984 general election.  Again, I was on the radio.  I actually had my news car parked on Public Square.  Secret Service came by, looked underneath with a mirror on a telescoping rod, and I was good to go.  Today?  You couldn't get a car within a mile.

It's not just a media problem.  It's your problem, too.

I fear the toothpaste is out of the tube.  The days of easy and free access are gone, and they're never coming back.

As violence, and the threats of even more violence grows, our ability to meet those who want to govern shrinks.