In the 1998 movie, “Primary Colors,” a dark horse candidate for president tells excited supporters at a campaign rally, “I wish everyone would just calm down a little.” The fictional former Florida Gov. Fred Picker (played by Larry Hagman) also cautions that “if we don’t watch out and calm down, it all may spin out of control.”
The candidate also asks supporters to take their seats.
“So what I want to do is quiet things down and start having a conversation,” Picker tells the crowd.
Sure, it’s just movie dialogue of an event that never really happened. Even so, we can’t help but think Picker’s advice is sound, particularly given the nasty tone of what passes for public debate. It’s time for the politicians, as well as all citizens and public servants to take a deep breath and simmer down.
This advice came to mind following an incident in Carter County this week, which saw residents there exchange heated words with a member of the county’s Planning Commission. As Press Elizabethton Bureau Chief John Thompson reported in Wednesday’s paper, planners also argued among themselves.
Though he may be a fictional character, Freddy Picker has the right idea for dealing with such situations.
Everyone needs to just calm down a bit.