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WILKES-BARRE — As we waited for Saturday’s Legislative Breakfast Forum to begin at Wilkes University, thoughts returned to a day in my side yard.

I was practicing pitching to my dad and let’s just say, I wasn’t throwing my best stuff.

“Is that the best ya got?” my dad asked.

No, it wasn’t, but I soon got motivated and started throwing better — much better.

So why did this memory come back as we waited for the Wilkes-Barre Chapter of the League of Women Voters to begin the program?

Well, of our 12 local elected state legislators that were invited months ago, two showed up for the event.

Kudos to Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Wilkes-Barre, and Rep. Jim Haddock, D-Pittston Township, for attending the event, which was attended by about 60 people, including several college students.

Despite having only two legislators attend, the event was very informative and it served a great purpose in offering all in attendance — plus those watching on Service Electric and YouTube.

Questions were asked and answered. Good job.

But my dad’s question of decades ago seemed begging to be asked:

“Is this the best we got?”

Pashinski and Haddock took it seriously. But what about the others who chose not to attend or even send representation?

I’m not even going to mention their names — they don’t deserve that. You all know who they are — many of you voted for them and will, likely, vote for them again.

Our political system is in a precarious situation these days. In many political races, incumbents are unopposed. In others, there are few contests in the primaries — usually one candidate from each political party is all we get.

And if you delve into all this, you will find that, perhaps, many potential candidates choose not to run to avoid the scrutiny — which can often be extremely biased and unfair — sometimes brutal.

So what are we left with? Look no further than the 2024 Presidential race.

Are we to believe that the two best possible candidates for our country’s highest office will be on the ballot?

I really would like to return to the times when we walked to school, did homework and played until dark — outside, not in a room with an electronic device that only required our thumbs.

I want to play tag and hide and seek and stickball. I want to ride my bike everywhere, and I want to sit on my porch and listen to a baseball game on a transistor radio.

I want to buy a few packs of Topps baseball cards and quickly open them, hoping to see Mickey Mantle or any other Yankee, or Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Sandy Koufax or Harmon Killebrew.

I want it all. I want it to be like that again. But those days are gone forever. We live in a much different world now, so we have to make the best of it. We have to roll with all the punches — and we have been hit with many punches.

This world we live in can not sustain itself. We have to find a way to get along and to resolve our differences in a manner that does not include constant arguing filled with the unmovable thought that both sides are always right.

Political discourse is one thing, but thanks to social media, we no longer know what to believe. How do we ever get to the truth on any issue? We have to find the right path.

Candidates these days are more concerned about telling us why we shouldn’t vote for their opponents rather than telling us why we should vote for them.

Issues no longer drive the selection process — shock, untruths and, yes, “fake news” is where we get our “information.”

We need to bring civility back — especially in our elective process.

And as much as we would like, we can’t hop in the Way Back Machine and return to those better days. We have to make every effort to make these days much better.

And when we go to the polls to vote and we elect our representatives and senators and council members and school directors, we also need them to be there when we want to ask them questions.

And there was no better way to do that than to be at Saturday’s League of Women Voters event and face those in attendance. And to answer their questions and explain how they feel on issues that affect each and every one of us every day.

It’s not too much to ask. In fact, it should be a duty when one is elected to any office.

On Saturday, Rep. Pashinski and Rep. Haddock did their duty. They showed up. They answered questions. They acted like representatives who appreciate the people who placed their faith in them to serve.

And we wonder why voter turnout is so low these days.

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.