Vote For Who?

Only a couple of days ago an old school chum wrote to say that with the recent election of a number of republicans to office national legislative paralysis will continue.  Another fellow replied that this was the best thing that could happen.  “The less they meddle in out lives, the better off we will be,” he said.  I happen to agree with him, and have thought that way for quite a long, long time.  Government on every level has become increasingly meddlesome and obtrusive.  And that is especially aggravated by something else.   We seem to have growing in our midst a “type” of person, the career/professional politician/officeholder who begins to function somewhat as an hereditary nobility may have functioned in past ages.  On, no?  Can you say Cuomo?
If we couple that with career/professional military personnel we may have a volatile dangerous mix.  Tell me please that it’s not a sure thing that some fine day we will find Senator Col. Bismuth’s Regiment of Armored Cavalry happily ensconced in Fort Bismuth which was founded by his grandfather the first Senator, God rest his soul.  Their offices are not yet hereditary, as a Roman Senator’s, or Consul’s, but those who hold them depend increasingly on a kind of “bread and circuses” way of life, legislating more and more of the stuff we never thought we needed but cannot live without.  But let us leave that for another day to grow warts over.
I was instantly attracted to the line which reads, “That government governs best which governs least.”  But even THAT type of government has to have the authority to tell/guide/cajole/ inform…you pick the word…the citizens of the space it governs what they may/ought to do from time to time, or all the time, among themselves, and to order them to gather in places where things need to be done to keep the place up, or keep out folks who happen to like the place and want bits of it for themselves, or all of it.  And the smarter citizens, I happen to think, see the need for that to happen and agree among themselves that it is not only good for it to happen but better to keep it happening that way. 

I think I have just summarized the Preamble to the Constitution of These Untied States

I happened yesterday to be walking across the schoolyard while it was filled with about a hundred little kids.  There were balls of all kinds flying through the air, and little boys of various sizes running all over the place kicking them and each other in pursuit of the balls…or each other.  There were girls there, too.  Some of them walked quietly about in twos and threes; probably talking about dolls, or who they would trap into being husbands in several years.  Other girls gathered and screamed, and a few ran around with or after the boys.

As I passed through a knot of eight years old boys I heard one tell another, “You’re not the boss of me!”  This group of boys seemed to be engaged in a kind of game which resembled soccer in the same way that the formless soup of coalescing matter in the first nano-seconds after the big bang resembles the universe today.

There was among them nothing agreed upon, no rules, no positions, no referees, no boundaries, and no one, it seemed who thought it might be better for everyone if some kind of order was imposed, if someone, or some group said to them, “OK, boys, from now on the stoop is out of bounds, only one guy at a time kicks the ball, and no punching each other in the face.  Five of us get at this end and the other five get at that end and try to move the ball past each other from our own end to the other guys’ end.  Every ten minutes we take a blow, and if someone goes down, no stepping on him.  Everyone gets to say if we want to play the game different and most hands changes the rules.  No yelling. Sound good?”

I think I have just summarized the Constitution of these Untied States.

So, we have only ourselves to blame if the referees and rule makers shorten the field, allow too many players on one side and not enough on another or do away with the boundaries and say, “Hey, everyone, come over and play with our ball.  No rules.  No practice.  Just fun.  Plus, we give you lunch.”  I think I know where you are thinking I will go with this.  Well, I am not on my way there.  This ain’t Arizona.

We have only ourselves to blame, too, if the referees gather together with the owners of the “Sky Boxes” in the stadium, and change the rules to accommodate their particular issues, allowing time outs during food service, or something as silly

I think I have just summarized much of what has been happening in most every state and local government, and down in the SOG, for the better part of a century.

One way to think about this is that it’s all about sales, you know.  Consider what happens when you invite someone into your home after reading about a deal too good to pass up.  You’re thinking that well, a new set of windows might just be the thing before winter sets in.  So, they come, those guys who advertise new storm windows that will keep out the cold in the winter and the heat in the summer, and we never ask, “How DO the glass know?”  We’ve already sold ourselves a deal based on a dream.  We allowed these guys who promise us everything to start tearing out the windows, for one easy price.  Soon, we see we need a new paint job, a new furnace…and go for the deal each time; finding ourselves as a result in debt up to our necks in a few years and with some bank in a place we never heard of that holds our mortgage foreclosing, because they need money like yesterday.

I think I have just described “progress”.  I think I have also just described the current financial mess we are in, most of which happened because there was too much patty fingers between big deal rich guys and big deal pols who’d been in office for about a geologic age apiece, and knew all they needed to know.  Remember the rich guys in the sky boxes and the referees?

Like Pogo might have said, we did it to us.  Or, perhaps more accurately, we stood by and let them do it; after we had let them sell us the windows, and after we had let them talk us into believing (a) our old windows didn’t look nice, (b) everyone else has new windows on the next block so why not us at a price that may not/will not last  and (c) they’re self-cleaning (a lie).

I think I have just described about every political campaign for the last seventy years.  The point of all of these mixed metaphors, windows, ball games and little kids is this:  Little kids do need some rules or games are not games at all.  Comes a time when “plays well with others” becomes important for living.  That means accepting the freedom and strength of being a grown up, but also accepting a lot of other things, too.  But, there’s a long space between that and becoming used to the idea that “allows others to play for him” is a goal.  When we allow ourselves to be convinced that that idea is the best for ourselves and everyone else we give up being a grown up.  We don’t go back to the school yard.  We go back to the crib.

And, about windows and all that?  Well, that’s just a big serving of gluttony, greed, envy and sloth; with a little bit of lust, anger and pride mixed in and sauced over the top..  That’s the bargain we made in the garden long time ago.  In that crib we won’t have blankies, bottles and regular diaper changes.  Nah, it’ll be loans, and free this and thats and euthanasia some day.

I think I just described having our cake and eating it.

But that’s plain nuts because of the nature of cakes.  You gotta have rules about that, recipes for making the cake batter, an oven and temperature  directions for baking it, cake pans and what alls, dishes, knives and forks, tables, plates and napkins, and manners, lots of manners.  And Mom to do the baking, and kids to do the cleaning up.  And Dad to bring home the bacon to buy the flour, milk, sugar and shortning.

I think I have just described a society.

Without which we get either one of two things, what we are starting to grow in the backyard of every City Hall, State House and White House and Congress, here; or what we need, and what this place started with, just enough rules to make the game enjoyable and allow us to get the ball to the goal to the best of our ability.

We cannot elect to office the guys who had the grace to start this place going, and the good sense to stand aside when they had done what needed doing.  They’re dead.  The ones we seem to be electing today have none of the latter quality, and participate in darn little of the former, I think; believing that they are their own answer to all of the questions, and that’s insane.  Hospitals are full of those folks.
But, you know, short of bringing them all out into the Public Square and making the place really messy, I think there may be another way.  Call it a modest proposal.  Better yet call it a Mad Tea Party, a crazy solution to an insane problem.
In the election for senator up here in Cow Hampshire there were a total of 10,00 some odd votes cast in my home town.  Just about ten percent were cast for folks, people, maybe your pet turtle, whose name did not appear on the ballot.  In most cases these days less than thirty percent of folks care enough to switch off Oprah and slog over to the polling station during an election.  You ever wonder why?
We talk all the time about “‘sending messages”, one of which is, “You stink, and so does everything you’re doing.”  Well, whoever “You” is doesn’t really care, and who else is there to replace him?  So seventy percent of folks afflict themselves with “apathy”.
Next time you get a chance, next time the salesmen come to the door, appear in the paper and offer you “such a deal”, smile to yourself and go back inside.  feel lucky you have the opportunity to do what I suggest now.  Vote for “None of the Above”.  Vote for Michael Mouse, Dr. E Fudd, Uncle D. Duck.  Vote the “Straight Dope” ticket.
Soon, the day will come when this little act of civil disobedience will have an effect, when shame will cover the ermine clad shoulders of the eternal office holder and the hoots of the rest of us at their hollow victory will rob them of all legitimacy, and their office and duties of any standing, finally.
With our help so far they are destroying the structure forged in strife years ago by wise men and strong.  Turn your backs on them and walk away laughing at their pride and vainglory.  Let the Mouse be your Man next time!
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About Peadar Ban

There isn't much to say. I am here. I am here. I am here.
This entry was posted in A Newer Better Way, News, Truth and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Vote For Who?

  1. Joe Willmore says:

    Please take a look at an old movie, “Meet John Doe”. I can’t help seeing as the newspaper syndicate owner, Rupert Murdock, and his like, the 1% or 2%, in whose hands the majority of this country’s wealth resides, manipulating the John Doe clubs for their own purposes. They want no referees, no regulation and no middle class who has a legitimate shot at the American dream. I don’t want the obscenely wealthy to have to redistribute their wealth, but I would like them to pay their fair share.

    • Peadar Roe says:

      Good Morning Joe,

      I see your point, and agree. The point I muddily tries to make is that the referees we send into the game change the rules on us, or make them so difficult that playing according to the rules…which all sane people believe are necessary…becomes either impossible, infuriating or depressing. Sometimes it is all three at the same time.

      It’s fun, during an athletic contest, to yell “Kill the Ref!” or “Bump the Ump!”, and athletics is merely athletics. And, when the game is over, the refs don’t sit down with the fans in the sky boxes and hatch new rules which not only affect the way the game is played, but make it difficult for the fans to get into the park. And stupid us, we keep sending them out, season after season, to do the same thing.

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