I admit it. I am one of those annoying folks who prefers to give others the benefit of the doubt. This way of life has served me (relatively) well over the decades. May have created some conflict from those who doubted my sincerity. May also have been a balm to others tired of the duplicity and derangement of present public discourse.
Which brings me to today. In place of last night’s sleep, seriously strange sensations surged through me. Something not unlike the spin cycle on high. I felt wrung out by morning, but neither refreshed nor sweet.
My first response to last night’s ‘presidential debate’ (yes, I need to use ‘ ‘) was to wish every candidate had some kind of truth-detector device attached to them. Clearly a bell would be of no use. They talk right through them. I began to wonder if a shock might be helpful. Something that would make them jump, create a visual for the listener to help distinguish between fact and fiction. I mean – how can they stand there and keep repeating utter falsehoods – about health care, about the economy, about Obama’s record, about the ease with which they would annihilate whole groups of people.
I get that memories are short, that their revisionist version of history is entirely spun from their own need to seem strong and smart. And electable – at all costs. I also get that the more forcefully something is stated, and the more frequently, the greater the ring of truth.
But here’s the rub. Saying something does not make it so. Instead of either finger-pointing or assuming an air of pious self-righteouness, how about some simple fact-checking? Let’s start with this: just WHY has the current administration been unable to forge meaningful ‘across-the-aisle’ (how I hate that phrase) progress? Hint: it’s not because this President hasn’t tried – repeatedly, tirelessly – even, I might say, with his own belief in the ultimate goodness and humanity of his detractors. Who in their wringing away truth from all the spin, can only speak in ultimate polarities. Us – them; all good – all bad. That in itself should tell you something. It does me. (to be continued)