By Joe Klock, Sr.
With due apology to John Milton for the above play on his words from “On His Blindness” (his version was “They Also Serve”), I sound the following wake-up call to every American who cares a rat’s ass about our country’s future:
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Regardless of your political affiliation, ideological leaning, or degree of past apathy, you owe it to yourself, your fellow citizens and your descendants to bone up on the issues and show up at the polls on the first Tuesday of November, 2010.
However, if we (the sheeple) run true to form, a silent majority of eligible voters will stand on the sidelines or sit in the jeering stands while the fate of the nation is shaped by an energized minority which DOES care enough to put power into hands that are either inept, misguided, soiled, greedy, or all of the above.
Every objective poll, most headlines and the consensus views from water coolers, neighborhood taverns and cocktail party palaver throughout the USA reveals that our elected reprehensibles have dug us into an economic ditch that, metaphorically, would make the Grand Canyon resemble a pothole.
Partisan pundits of every political stripe, in vigorous exercises of both finger-pointing and finger-giving, can agree on very few things, among them being the passionate posit that it’s the other guys’ fault and only their own guys have the right answers.
That is to say, they point with pride to the past records and future plans of their anointees, while viewing with alarm those with opposing views.
The undeodorized truth is that the shape we’re in has been sculpted by those of both parties whom we selected as architects of our current governance and who have proven themselves unable and/or unwilling to shore up its foundation, remedy its faults and formulate workable plans for the future.
Meanwhile, the road ahead is cluttered with cans that have been kicked down it, such as mountainous debts, unsustainable future commitments and unresolved conflicts between law and order.
A cynical observer might suggest that a proper slogan for our future generations might be “Give me puberty and give me debt,” but like many other phrases spoken in jest, this one is just too true to be good.
Arguably sure to vote in November are those who cooked up the witch’s brew of our present condition, plus those who now benefit from the status quo, plus those who hope to do so in the future, plus those who are swayed by sloganeering, plus those who are razzle-dazzled by bloviating broadcasters, plus devotees of fringe fanaticism, plus those who blindly follow the foregoing folk.
Sadly absent from the polling places in November, unless our Rip Van Winkles are aroused from their apathy, will be that hapless majority among us who will foot the future bills and then punt the problems to our even more hapless begats.
Now – and only now – is the time to ask every seeker of every office on which you have an opportunity to vote come November, questions like these:
-What do you see as the problems you will face if and when elected?
– Exactly how do you plan to combat them?
-Will your party support this effort?
– Specifically how?
Pose your questions by snail-mail, phone or (preferably) in-person buttonholing, and don’t allow yourself to be brushed aside by generalized talking points, references to irrelevant past events and/or personal attacks having nothing to do with the issues.
Above all, insist on finding out where each candidate stands on balancing future budgets and dealing with present debts, including such “third rail” issues as so-called entitlements that can’t possibly be honored.
Chances are, you are compelled to wrestle with problems similar those listed above in your everyday life, so why shouldn’t your government?
Where do you fit in? Thought you’d never ask!
It has been wisely written and spake that there are three kinds of people in the world: Those who make things happen, those who watch thing happen and those who, after happenings have occurred, haven’t the foggiest idea of why and how they DID happen.
Come November, you pay your money (in future installments) and take your choice – or you just stand and wait while others do the choosing.
If you’re tempted to be a waiter, remember this cynical paraphrase of the Good Book sung by Mordred, bastard son of King Arthur in the musical “Camelot:” It’s not the earth the meek inherit, it’s the dirt.
Another jest that’s just too true to be good.
Freelance word worker Joe Klock, Sr. (
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