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Richard Crowson Commentary

Richard Crowson: The Kind of Convention We Really Need

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My fellow Americans, our nation is on the verge of an historic decision. In a very short time a great honor will be bestowed on one of the candidates. Either a candidate who has been tested and proven a winner in the past will be chosen, or a candidate who is new will be deemed victorious.

No, no, no. I’m not talking about that election business between the President and Mr. Romney. Their conventions are over and done with.

But down at Winfield, Kansas right now, there’s a convention going on where something really will be decided. The 41st Annual Walnut Valley Festival is in full swing through Sunday. The Festival sometimes calls itself the International Convention of String Musicians. Now, that’s the type of convention our nation really needs these days.

Although the four main stages and several improvised campground stages are brimming over with world-caliber musical performers, for many, the heart of the Walnut Valley Festival lies in the instrument contests. National and international championships on guitar, banjo, mandolin and dulcimer, as well as a fiddle championship, attract the cream of the picker crop to Winfield every year. There are plenty of amazing candidates vying for the top spot in each category. And best of all, they don’t make any political speeches that have to be fact-checked. These candidates aren’t about playing gotcha games. They play instruments. Really, really well.

So let’s heal our nation’s deep divisions with a trip down into the Walnut Valley. At Winfield Democrats and Republicans can happily consort with one another and create the kind of harmonies that partisan politicians so revile.

Who needs party politics when there’s a pickin’ party like the Walnut Valley Festival going on?