Whew! It’s finally over!
I don’t know about you fine folks out there, but I’m sure glad the election is over. We have four years before the next one, so we don’t have to worry about the clang and clamor of everyone promising us everything for a good while: for at least a week.
Of course, you’ve got to admit, the political spectrum can be awfully entertaining at times, but lest you think such entertainment is something new, consider what Sebastian Chamfort said back in the late 1700s. “If it were not for the government, we’d have nothing to laugh at in France.”
Back in the 1800s, women didn’t have the vote. They were never elected to any post. Far-seeing Mark Twain made the acerbic remark, “I think it’s about time we voted for Senators with breasts.
After all, we’ve been voting for boobs long enough.”
In all candor, we still are. Unfortunately, some of our folks in Congress possessing the physical trait Twain mentioned also display the figurative one.
Some folks however have taken a slightly different perspective on politics. I don’t know if you remember the eccentric playwright, George Bernard Shaw, or not. He wrote Pygmalion, on which the movie “My Fair Lady” was based. The guy was outspoken, to say the least. He regarded democracy as “substituting election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.”
Now, to me, that’s pretty strong, yet if you take a close look at the political landscape over the last couple decades, you’ll see scandal after scandal.
Henry Kissinger made essentially the same observation, but he did it humorously by insisting, “Ninety percent of the politicians gave the other ten percent a bad reputation.”
Frank Dane was much more acrimonious. “Get all the fools on your side and you can be elected to anything.”
Ummmm. From the mouths of Libertarians.
An unknown wag summed it up when he bitterly observed, “if voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.”
Probably of all the prior observations, the last one contains the most substance.
It’s hard to know whom to believe today.
On the one hand, Democrats claim nothing is wrong with ACORN; on the other, the Republicans claim ACORN is the headquarters for massive voter fraud.
Who’s right? Who’s wrong?
Despite his infamy, you have to give Al Capone credit for candor when he said, “Vote early and vote often.”
If you think that isn’t still happening today, folks, you’re even more naïve than all those welfare voters who eagerly opened their mail on Nov. 5, expecting a paycheck from Obama.
Now, I grant you, some politicians are fairly smart, some even brilliant. Most, in my opinion however, fall somewhere in the category between dim-witted and dull. And don’t argue. You probably have the same opinion.
You can’t tell me we have a Harvard scholar on our hands when one former VP candidate remarked, “I love California. Why I practically grew up in Phoenix.” That same sharp wit also remarked, “It is wonderful to be here in the great state of Chicago.”
But our president-elect, a Harvard man, topped those gaffes when he remarked that he had traveled in his campaign to “57 states.” His staff needs to give him an overnighter in geography.
I guess maybe we shouldn’t take them too seriously. Yet if we don’t, heaven only knows how far some of those jokers will go.
Some politicians are so slick they’ve managed to envelope themselves in a Teflon shield, one so effective that whatever happens is deflected like a ricocheting bullet. That’s what keeps them in Washington for years.
Winston Churchill summed up the consummate politician. “A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.”
Truman, as usual, was much more succinct. “If you can’t convince them, confuse them.”
And dear reader, if you’ll forgive me for saying so, there’s a heck of a lot of confusion out there right now.