A 2017 healthcare "debate" explodes into shouting on Fox News.

As a news nerd, I spend way too much time flipping between cable channels and sorting out the facts from politics. My wife crinkles her brow when she hears the predictable banter, often asking me, “So, are they getting it figured out?”

The answer is no.

I live in such a different world than the one I see on FOX, CNN or MSNBC. From where we reside in a small Kansas town, I only wish my biggest concerns were a border wall, a march on Washington or that the federal government was closing down for a few days.

In the rural towns where we live and work, I just wish hometown stores would stop closing.

I dream of seeing population figures go up, rather than down.

I have no fear of anyone I meet on the street, whether their last name is Jones, Rodriguez, Liberman, Franco or Abdullah, so the fuss over immigration doesn’t bother me.

I’m much sadder to learn that a local church has closed; that nursing home residents seldom see visitors; that hometown pride is sparse; that younger folks don’t read newspapers; and that way too many elm and maple trees are dying.

If I choose to walk from our home to the newspaper office located eight blocks away, I know I’m safe.

I trust our national leaders, even those who make jackasses of themselves. It’s a great country.

And, when I hear on a TV news show that the other side of the political aisle is mostly composed of gutter snipes, I just switch channels where the same folks are labeled as poo-poo holes.

I hate it.

But when I see the mayors, school board members and city councilors in our small towns going to work in regular jobs every day, then volunteering their leadership to local folks, I am encouraged.

When I see cars filling the high school parking lot on Tuesday and Friday nights, even overflowing into adjoining neighborhoods, I know that a local basketball team has united hometown folks and made home fans into noise makers and team boosters.

I don’t like being forced into a box of any kind. So I’m uncomfortable saying I’m a Republican or Democrat.

I like getting my Social Security check on the 25th of every month without fail. With Medicare and gap insurance added, I have absolutely no medical expenses.

I rather like that.

I run from confrontations because they tend to be silly, personality-laden and selfish.

So, which cable channel do I select?

I’m not telling.

I don’t want a label stuck on my nose.

But I still watch them — all three.

If I strip away the goony people who sit on couches and make snarky comments, there’s a semblance of objective news-gathering that is presented by well-trained journalists.

And, when I get fed up with the falderal, I turn to the History Channel and watch something about the Egyptian Pyramids or how to transplant rose bushes. Five minutes later, I’m snoozing.

And, that’s why my world didn’t shut down this week.

Rudy Taylor and his family publish three weekly newspapers in southeast Kansas.

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