Shaking My Head

I'm not sure if I'm shaking it in wonder, disgust, shame, or bewilderment. Each day those we have chosen as leaders, or those vying for the job, appear to go out of their way to prove that they are incapable of understanding the most basic concept of the word.

Some are in thrall (or is it fear) of a pathological liar and narcissist, a would-be dictator, who holds himself above the law by pure bombast. Do the candidates fear that he or his followers may destroy any power or fame that they aspire to? I hope that they do not believe the drivel that he and his sycophants spout. The second coming? Really? Angel of Death? Yeah, right. Vengeance, retribution, obstruction, and denial? That's all-American, for sure. Others, let's call them the opposition, portray their adversaries as crooks, racists, and/or traitors. 'Let him among you who is without sin cast the first stone.'

To quote the warden in Cool Hand Luke … "What we have here is a failure to communicate." It's not that either side isn't listening. They're just not bothering to hear. In short, neither seems to care about the one thing that matters most, the Republic … the whole republic … all of it. It's their way, or the highway.

Each day, and I mean that literally, I receive two full-page-sized pieces of cardboard in the mail. On one side, in full color, flag waving, family standing behind them smiling, happy voters cheering, the candidate feeding me the party line. On the other side a hazy black and white sour-faced picture of the opposition candidate standing with the standard bearer of the opposition. The text is a litany of all the crimes against humanity: all committed by the opposition candidate (whether in office or not). And both sides are using this same old idea; as if it were new and, worse yet, effective? It was enough to make me check my birth certificate. I was right. I was not born yesterday.

Candidates in debates or interviews parrot prepared talking points when asked questions. It's as if they fear that an honest answer to any question might enrage those who are funding the campaign, thereby lessening their chance at 15 minutes of fame, wealth, or power. I'm not sure I want anyone representing me who feels it necessary to call their leadership before speaking, to make sure they're following the party line. Am I expected to vote for the dummy seated on the ventriloquist's knee? They're supposed to represent ME, not the agenda of people elected from other districts in other states.

When I hear a candidate speak, I want to hear what they intend to do, not what the other guy has done (or not done). I want a plan or idea that is within their capabilities to achieve. I want some reason to vote FOR them, not just AGAINST the other candidate.

I find myself at a crossroads. There are two guides there to answer my questions about what route to take. The first stands in front of one path, pointing at the other, and shouting that "No. No. Don't go down that path. There are twists and turns, rocks and potholes. It's a bad road that leads nowhere. You won't find me going down that road." The other stands to one side pointing down the path. "It's a good road, not perfect, but I hope, better than the other. Be ready for some challenges, but the journey is worth the challenges when we reach the end. We will go together." Which road would you choose?

And now I know why I'm shaking my head. It's in disappointment.

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Friday, 23 February 2024