One of the things I deplore most about politics, a professional populated by legumes and nuts, is the relative absence of fruits and vegetables.
I hear the dull thud of jaws hitting the floor. “Hunh?”
In the old days, political campaigns (when rhetorical oratory involved the shoveling of dogma and doctrine) were occasionally punctuated by the feelings of the electorate as they threw overripe apples and oranges, rotten tomatoes and eggs as well as anything else a pig could pass after a night of revelry in the swill at the candidate. This festival of garbage laden reverie really got the message across to the candidate as to how well he was, or wasn’t doing in the polls. The full impact of the message was in the immediacy of the report given. The strength of the protest was noted in the odor given off by the rotting fruit or veggie.
In recent history, a certain legislator shouted out, from the gallery at the Capitol, that Barack Obama was speaking lies. The offender was blasted for his lack of decorum (modesty, propriety or tact) and his lack of deference (respect, reverence or submissiveness).
Question: why? Must we show deference to a man we believe to be a liar? Must we show reverence admiration, devotion and (what they want most) worship toward people wanting acceptance as modern gods? The guy’s the first Half-black/Half-white person elected to the presidency. So what? That distinction doesn’t elevate his rhetoric to the equivalent of a Papal Bull. It means he’s human, fallible and thus, worthy of criticism. And if an elected representative sees a lie; I pay him to report the lie and unmask the liar whether the liar holds high office or not.
This man challenging Obama held my respect for about one (1) day. Then he caved to the pressures of people covering their own posteriors. He apologized. Why must we sacrifice our principles in order to get along by going along with the same lie? Obama is not deserving of either deference or worship.
We’ve developed language to the point of approaching perfection. We’ve also developed colloquial, conversational words to “soften” the impact and temper their appearance of combativeness. Disingenuous means dishonest and insincere where the desire is to call the liar out of the shadows and hold him accountable. Obstructionism is referred to where we’re trying to point out a politician is hiding his wrong-doing. But it sounds better than “liar, liar, pants on fire”. It soothes the potential boo-boos where hemorrhaging gushes the limited credibility of the liar into a pool at the base of the podium. We mustn’t be thought of as intransigent and unyielding. If we want to be honored, we must show honor. What goes around comes around.
Do we need any more cliché’s?
Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary defines a politician as: n. an eel in the fundamental mud upon which the superstructure of organized society is reared. When he wriggles he mistakes the agitation of his tail for the trembling of the edifice. We must take their existence with a grain of salt to begin with and a mountain of it at their belief we’re as stupid as they think we are.
In Bierce’s time rhetoric was immediately challenged and placed in context by the opposition. There were numerous “high-falutin” speeches and the sound of every pulpit being pounded by men no more pious than the snake tempted Eve. When the populace needed a quick and sure way to get the message across they weren’t happy with the performance; out came the fruit salad missiles and vegetarian projectiles. It was in this way the politician understood full-well he was transparent to the masses. The message was immediate, personal and easily understood: “We’re on to you!”
This was followed by a resounding splat as a rotten egg impacted where they stood. The indignity of the assault was bad enough; but the cloying odor and permanent staining of the egg lasted longer to allow the message to sink in fully.
Boy! I miss the good old days because nobody really gets the message until it affects them personally.
Thanks for listening.