A Navy veteran of the tumultuous Vietnam and Nixon years, he served his country from inside that chaotic White House. I cannot sing his praises enough! As a writer and a brother, a mentor and a friend, this man has had a life-long effect on me and so many others. Enjoy the spell he weaves with his mastery of prose and attention to detail that only his style surpasses.
THE TRUE COST OF POLITICAL PROCTOLOGY
What follows is pure opinion based on my personal perception of observed events and little else. Any semblance to reasoned thought is purely coincidental.
Well kids, here we sit on MLK Day; few of us with any real knowledge or appreciation of how we actually got here. I suspect that the Founding Fathers would find it somewhat confusing; given their frame of reference and times, as to why we should choose to commemorate the life of an un-elected public figure who intentionally or not had such a polarizing effect on the times in which he lived. I do suspect however that if such commemoration was the will of the true majority of the people that they would accept it without question. Such would be their faith in the political system they established and their inherent faith in the people.
On the other hand, they would be absolutely appalled at the waste in time, resources, and human despair expended in the public anal exams of political figures. There may be those among us who enjoy such spectacles; but in reality there is little beyond shock value to be gained from exposing human frailty and/or stupidity. Everybody knows it exists.
It would be nice if fear of public exposure kept the cruel, stupid and inept out of public life and power but it hasn’t seemed to deter them in the past. Maybe it is our fascination with today’s technology coupled with our sense of perverse legalism that inspires our press elite to act like self-righteous super heroes charged with the guardianship and maintenance of public morals as defined in the current atmosphere of “political correctness”.
Armed with the concept of the Free Press, the Holy Writ of the First Amendment, and little else these “nattering nabobs of negativism” as dubbed by one of their more famous victims (Does anybody except me remember Spiro Agnew?), have extended their role as the public’s watchdog to that of actual power brokers in the body politic.
Maybe it is fairer and more accurate to say that today’s leadership in the press has bent the institution in that direction. It is not the first time members of the press and in particular its leadership has prostituted themselves and the institution and surly won’t be the last. The difference today is that nobody seems to be concerned enough to really watch the watchers. Maybe we fear their power more than we used to.
The sad truth is that really dedicated competent people are deterred from entering public service just because they don’t want to suffer the pain and humiliation of being held to a standard that would disqualify most saints. Add to that the fact that the same people who apply the standard also set it and it is no wonder that disillusion reigns.
It seems that today’s political leaders on both sides of the aisle are concerned with nothing else except of course getting reelected. The Democrats in particular seem to be carrying political proctology to the extreme. The current leadership seems to think it easier to attack flaws of character or past indiscretions in individual opponents and use the old guilt by association tactic rather than to formulate coherent programs based on sound ideas and principles and engage in meaningful debate of important issues. They must think the public is as shallow and vapid as they are!
This forces the Republicans into a defensive posture and to expend resources and time in avoiding bad public pole numbers. As if it mattered! The real losers are we the people.
Instead of representative government we get political pageantry and poor pageantry at that!
I wish I was smart enough to come up with some way to correct things but all I am qualified to do is to carp and complain. At least I still have that right. There I feel better now. Anybody else?
Cancer Patience – “Experience is of no value unless it is shared.”
My Rant – “Ok boys and girls, fasten your seat belts, put your seats and tray tables in the full upright position, and get ready. I am going to try my hand at this “rant” business.”
Negro Mattie – “Perhaps the greatest testament to Mattie’s capacity to love was the fact that we were not the only white family to pass by her casket with tears in our eyes.”
Doc – “To say our family respected and trusted our family doctor is an understatement.”
Little Sisters - “I was her foil and scapegoat . . .”