by JOHN CASHON, Cashon Delivery
Listening to some in the news, one would think the United States is within days of complete economic failure. This view can be subjective according to which party is speaking at the time, creating a panic that some voters may perceive as possibly occurring at any moment. This creeping anxiety has spilled into the election season through its chosen proxy, the media, which should surprise no one.
Every latest news cycle has a different story compelling everyone to stop and say, “Oh, what now?” The latest trying to outdo the earlier story in sensationalism, but very few are digging deeper for what is really going on and instead deliver the latest talking points, written by the leadership of the parties and the Super Pacs.
The relentless rewriting of history being vocalized by the henchmen of both parties, daily, lends one to discard anything said as being pure hogwash. Rarely does the truth matter anymore and long gone are the days of Walter Cronkite where we knew we were getting the whole story when he finished with, “and that's the way it is.”
A jovial mind would look to the humor of the situation and could fall back to the words of Will Rogers, a humorist and satirist highly esteemed in the United States during the ‘Great Depression’ years for his political wit:
"Now these fellows in Washington wouldn't be so serious and particular if they only had to vote on what they thought was good for the majority of the people in the U.S. That would be a cinch. But what makes it hard for them is every time a bill comes up they have things to decide that have nothing to do with the merit of the bill. The principal thing is of course: What will this do for me personally back home?"
Will Rogers also wrote, "Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously, and the politicians as a joke, when it used to be vice versa."
It is not a coincidence that in today’s political climate, comedians like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Bill Maher are popular by giving everyone a chance to laugh at the foolishness of this never-ending battle between the parties, especially when the country has serious economic problems due to the lack of jobs.
There are many other notables in history that we can look back to glean some truths. One that comes quickly to mind is Mark Twain, also known for his humor and political wit. Twain once said, “If we would learn what the human race really is at bottom, we need only observe it in election times.”
Here is another humorous statement by Twain that could be used today:
“In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.”
Along with his humor and sarcasm, Twain sometimes had something inspirational and steeped in common sense to say. From A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court:
“My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one's country, not to its institutions or its officeholders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death.”
The pessimistic views being expressed in the media leave out that our country has been saying the same things for over a century, or even longer. This amnesia pushes them to constantly highlight the country’s divisions that have helped polarize the citizenry.
American author, humorist, and columnist, Irvin S. Cobb, from Paducah, Kentucky, was widely known for his writing in the Saturday Evening Post. In his novel, “The Thunders of Silence”, Cobb showed the realities of the politics of the day through his characters:
“Upon a time the presidential nomination of his party--the dominant party, too--had been almost within his grasp. That made his losing it all the more bitter. Thereafter he became an obstructionist, a fighter outside of the lines of his own party and not within the lines of the opposing party, a leader of the elements of national discontent and national discord, a mouthpiece for all those who would tear down the pillars of the temple because they dislike its present tenants.”
The conclusion to our fears being portrayed in the media today is that there is always more to the story, and that what has happened before is happening again and nothing is really new with the partisan stances being given by the parties.
So when we are told, by our leaders, that this situation the country finds itself in today is far different than what has ever happened before, and that drastic changes must be made to save us, we can learn from the past and seek to find common sense answers together. It would not be a bad thing if we learned to laugh at ourselves a little more and move forward again.
There are some words that Teddy Roosevelt once said that we could use to look back on and reflect upon today’s political climate, and tell ourselves, “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.”