Eric Douglas: Don't tune out politics -- it's important

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I generally try to stay clear of politics in this column. I’ve been told that some people who read it think of it as a respite from the rancor that comes with political opinion.

I definitely have opinions on everything, but generally keep them to myself. There are some people who think they know what my politics are, but most of them are off-base — maybe not entirely wrong, but not 100% right, either.

Generally, I believe in the truth. I often question statements by people I agree with, because I know what they are saying is a distortion of the truth. If you can’t make your case for whatever you believe in, without lying, then you need to re-examine your position.

I find more and more people lately think they understand politics without actually bothering to read anything about what’s going on. Memes on Facebook do not count as staying in touch with current events.

Facebook pro-tip: If you have a friend who is constantly sharing distorted memes from various pseudo-political pages, you don’t need to block your friend. You can block all further posts from that page, instead. In the top right corner of any post, there are three horizontal dots. Click there and you can block posts from that page. Voila. Peace.

The West Virginia Legislature is now in session and so is Congress. Personally, I’ve always maintained that what’s going on at the state level is much more important to my everyday life than what happens in Washington. The state Legislature makes decisions every session than have an immediate effect on me and my family.

So, as much as you might hate to hear about it, or think they are all “a bunch of crooks,” it is vitally important to pay attention to what’s going on.

Don’t like a piece of proposed legislation? Let your representative know about it. Calls are best. Each delegate and senator has a secretary that will record your opinion and pass it along.

And remember, just because you hear a news story about some far-out piece of legislation, most of those silly proposed laws don’t stand a chance to ever make it to the governor’s desk. Remember School House Rock’s “I’m just a bill”? There are a lot of steps between an “idea” and making it into law. At each and every one of them there are ways and places to make your voice known. But it won’t happen if you aren’t paying attention.

Eric Douglas, of Pinch, is the author of “Return to Cayman,” “Heart of the Maya,” “Cayman Cowboys,” “River Town” and other novels. He is also a columnist for Scuba Diving Magazine and a former Charleston Newspapers Metro staff writer. For more information, visit or contact him at

Funerals for Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Adkins, Kenneth - 11 a.m., Evans Funeral Home Chapel, Chapmanville.

Carney, Herman - 11 a.m., Poca United Methodist Church, Poca.

Chrislip, David - 11 a.m., Elk Funeral Home, Charleston.

Coon, Iverson - 2 p.m., Pleasant Grove Church, Reedy.

Fisher, Delmer - 1 p.m., Long and Fisher Funeral Home, Sissonville.

Frame, Joe - 2 p.m., Elk Hills Memorial Park, Big Chimney.

Gibson, Floyd - 1 p.m., Stevens & Grass Funeral Home. Malden.

Harmon-Ray, Barbara - 11 a.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.

Kennedy, Eva - 11 a.m., Christ Church United Methodist, Charleston.

Patton, Loretta - 1 p.m., Good Shepherd Mortuary, South Charleston.

Peters, Bobby - 2 p.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.

Phillips, William - 3 p.m., Hafer Funeral Home, Elkview.

Ritchie, Juanita - 8 p.m., Roush Funeral Home, Ravenswood.

Scott, Jimmie - 11 a.m., Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens, Cross Lanes.

Taylor, Kenneth - 1 p.m., Waters Funeral Chapel, Summersville.

Tribble, Harvey - 1 p.m., Raynes Funeral Home, Buffalo.

Williamson, Grayson - 11 a.m., Anderson Funeral Home, New Haven.