A few months ago, while standing in a grocery store check-out line, I listened on as an older gentleman ranted loudly and at length to his unfortunate cashier, espousing his colorful version of world events and political preferences. I will say that I’m not the type of person to find these types of commentary offensive. Everybody has their respective opinions and – hopefully – reasons for having them. What I did find interesting, and incredibly rude, was that this gentleman thought it appropriate to speak his mind in a grocery store check-out line, where anyone within the adjacent five or six lines had no choice but to hear him. Continue reading Warm Lights over Bitter Wine
I was recently moved to participate in something I rarely do anymore; I sat through several political ads. It wasn’t because I thought there was a chance in a remote corner of Hell that the adds would reveal even a shred of truth or insight into a candidate’s intended agenda. It was instead more of a reconnaissance mission, aimed at gathering evidence indicative of an effort – however covert – on the part of the candidate and his or her financial backers to influence fence-sitting voters by means of a symbolic slight-of-hand. And let’s be honest right up front; money does provide opportunity for mass media exposure, giving those with greater resources the upper-hand in the advertising arena. And while we’re being honest let’s put another “it goes without saying” anecdote on the table; not everything you see and hear on TV and the radio are true. Imagine that.
I decided long ago that the moderates and centrists within each political party were either gone or on their way out of the American political system. These are – were? – the independent thinkers not enslaved by party dogma and ideology, and hence the most willing to negotiate, and even offer compromise, when it proved necessary to achieve legislative goals. It’s a concept that appears entirely absent in our current political construct, which has become counter-conducive to promoting an atmosphere where thinking-men proudly gather in great halls for the purpose of providing effective, representative government on behalf of their constituents. Continue reading Symbolism, Patriots and the plight of angry, frightened voters.