What ensued was a tirade against the Obama administration. The guy was apoplectic about the fact we weren't being told the death of the ambassador to Libya was an assassination in a terrorist attack -- on 9/11 no less -- and the president hid it behind a movie that slurred Muslims so he wouldn't look bad.
I'm used to partisans going over the top for their candidate and I can appreciate enthusiasm, I really can. If that over-the-top enthusiasm related to votes, Ron Paul would be the Republican nominee for president.
So we're not talking enthusiasm here but sheer unadulterated anger.
It's easy to chalk it up to Fox News and the talking heads on talk radio -- but I'll take that shot.
The discourse isn't "You're wrong Mr. President," the discourse is you're not really our president, your ideas are not American ideas, everything you do, from getting up in the morning to going to bed at night and everything in between, is designed to wreck America. You are not one of us and must be eliminated.
And it's not just Rush, Glenn and Michael who state that case.
What does it say when Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell says as the first response to the Obama presidency that he and the Republicans would do everything in their power to assure that the Obama presidency would be a one-term presidency?
It was not a "winner take all" strategy but a scorched earth we-will-destroy-you strategy and one at which he has excelled. I dare say a presidential proclamation honoring Mitch McConnell wouldn't make it through the obstructionist Senate Republicans simply because the president proposed it.
Talk to Obama supporters and they will tell you the grief they receive about the Obama presidency and re-election campaign comes almost entirely from angry white men. Say what you will about Mitt Romney, he just doesn't have it in him to be an angry white guy -- so why does he collect them like a magnet collects steel filings? Well, actually he doesn't -- any Republican nominee would have collected that crowd.
I think it has filled our political process with a toxin that will be hard to escape in the years to come. How do you even begin to work with people you've called evil for so long? Well they're politicians of course, so there's always the possibility they will change their stripes and turn into capable representatives of we the people.
But that is going to be tough if the talking heads continue to pound on them to keep the faith, that anger at those in charge is the way to a better America. It's not, but I'm sure there's an email out there coming at me for saying so.
They held a meeting in Harbor Springs last week "envisioning" what things they could do in downtown that might bring about change in terms of the community's economy. More restaurants of differing ranges, a wider diversity of shopping opportunities, making the community a draw for the younger people, changes in building heights -- all were tossed on the table to open the discussion.
As a native of Harbor Springs who now lives in Petoskey, let me toss a couple of observations across the five miles of Little Traverse Bay.
When Harbor was "discovered" back in the late '70s and '80s, things changed in a major way.
Those with money seeking entry into the "next great place to have a second home" found they were barred access from the long-time bastions of fine Harbor Springs living -- Harbor Point, Wequetonsing, Roaring Brook, the associations that had harbored the wealthy for years.
But, and here was the big but, you could buy a place on Main Street for a couple of hundred thousand dollars and have your own piece of paradise -- never mind the fact the place was on the market for $65,000 just before that and more importantly, a year-round resident lived there.
Then the neighborhoods of Third and Fourth streets were snatched up along with homes back away from the Bluff.
When those in attendance wondered how to get the young people back, it's hard to draw the young people back when the price of housing is so decidedly out of reach. When I think of the fact that the families of two teachers I had in high school actually lived on the Bluff along with a high school classmate of mine, it seems mind boggling. No way that would ever, ever happen today. And they were joined by the town banker, the town dentist and the owners of the town's two marinas -- but there was at least a mix.
Given the price of real estate and rental properties downtown, can we really expect a restaurant "for the rest of us" to be able to keep the prices low enough for the average citizen to enjoy their offerings? The same goes for general retail and its ability to generate profits year around.
To be more specific -- would Turkey's, Mary Ellen's Place, Gurney's, Kelbel Pharmacy as four examples -- be able to afford the rent and startup costs to open their businesses today?
So yes, let's get this visioning process going with some questions to start out the conversation. You can't go back and put the "Harbor Springs is wonderful" genie back in the bottle -- now it's how do we turn him into a helper and not an albatross.
Kendall P. Stanley is retired editor of the Petoskey News-Review. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.