Archived Past Pages:
TALES OF NOVEMBER
It’s customary out here in the heartland to greet those you encounter as you go about your daily activity. “Good morning”, “what’s up”, “how are you”? You have to be a little cautious in the use of that last one though, some people will actually call your bluff and give you a real answer, perhaps more than you bargained for. You might have happened along just after somebody cut them off in traffic, or maybe they just came from the dentist, or perhaps a chat with the IRS. Right out of the blue, you may get an earful of venom that sets you back on your heels.
Like today, maybe. Suppose you asked me how I was. The very first word that pops into what’s left of my mind today would be, “cynical”. A wise person would immediately recognize that response as, well, first of all, cynical. Beyond that, the astute listener would already be planning an exit strategy to extricate himself from the conversation that is likely to follow. Too late for that, if you broke your stride, you’re probably going to get the Paul Harvey treatment…..the Rest of the Story.
Whatever, you might ask, could cause a cultured, country gentleman (read, Redneck) like myself to become that way? Well, since you asked, the looming issue of the day is the fact that the presidential campaign is on its way to Michigan. The State is nearly surrounded by icy or frozen water at this time of the year, leaving few paths of escape. You can’t get far enough “up north” (the traditional route of escape from everything) to be out of harm’s way. This is the age of connectedness, and nobody has enough protective gear, Kevlar underwear, or BS repellant to come out unscathed.
The first president I can remember was Harry Truman, so that means I have been through this before, over and over. I even have an “I like Ike” button around here, somewhere, but I seldom wear it anymore. And maybe that’s the problem…… the passage of too many years, too many campaigns, too many lies. In each of those campaigns, the fresh-faced new candidates, or the wrinkled old ones, for that matter, have bombarded us with their promises to “fix” whatever is wrong in Washington. After more than 60 years of hearing that same pledge, a reasonable person might conclude that all of them have been monumentally unsuccessful in their efforts. They all spend their first term blaming the last guy and campaigning for their second. And if they achieve that, they spend the next four years trying to engineer a favorable-looking legacy to grace the walls of their new library.
The campaigns all begin on lofty rhetoric and time-honored principles, but it only takes about one State primary to descend into yanking the skeletons out of each other’s closets, and bathing each other in mud. The media takes their own unearned, but very predictable, side, and the game is on. We are left trying to select the lesser of two evils. Wouldn’t it be grand to have the chance to chose the greater of the two (or more) men ???
But thanks for asking how my day was going.
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