Like the squalid backup of a collapsing septic system, the sleazy side of confrontational politics has seeped into far too many veins and arteries of the republic.
That fact is readily apparent in these days leading up to President-elect Donald J. Trump’s date with destiny when he takes the oath of office to become the republic’s 45th president and commander in chief on Jan. 20.
While debate and differences of opinion are healthy and necessary to the survival of a free society, derision and deliberate divisiveness are not.
We stand by and watch as professional athletes buck decorum and figuratively bitch-slap their teammates and the nation’s patriots by refusing to stand up for the symbolism of our republic – displaying irresponsible posturing in what used to be neutral venues.
We invite chorus-line dancers to drop out of performing for a new president if they disagree with his politics and his election. Call it the politicization of the Radio City Rockettes.
Too few of us are willing to step up to the challenge when the grown daughter of the president-elect and her family can’t even fly commercial without being verbally accosted on a jetliner by a pair of sexual deviants wearing their misguided politics on their narcissistic sleeves.
Our in-your-face politics have even elevated a once-taboo drug – marijuana – to the level of popular acceptance as a form of legitimate (and legal) recreation – right up there with baseball, football, golf and gymnastics. Not to mention the new, free-wheeling drug of choice – pink.
The mass media aren’t helping. With the proliferation of 24-hour, seven-days-a-week TV channels, the appetite for telecast material is insatiable. Good news judgment has gone by the wayside. Anything that flies will get air time. Big-media producers and small-time “journalists” need to re-examine what’s news versus what’s tripe.
Meanwhile, we witness more often than not how otherwise impartial news presentations are slanted to reflect the producers’ politics. For example, in the face of the impending inauguration, the focus has been on entertainers who are declining invitations to perform. Instead, more informative reports would focus on those who have accepted the invitation to perform, relegating the denialists to being a footnote.
Like the glutton who will not help himself, the republic is well on its way toward fatally gorging on its own consumption and self-absorption.
We have gone from having a chicken in every pot to wanting to put a bullet in every head. Individualism has run amok. And our pride in national exceptionalism has gone the way of the buffalo.
The politics of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society have evolved into more than 7 million eligible U.S. workers losing their jobs or benching themselves to scam the system, where freebies fly and fraud abounds. Too many of the unemployed and the labor-force dropouts get by indefinitely on illegal money-making schemes and/or on the sweat and taxes paid by those on the labor force’s playing field.
And you wonder why the great Silent Majority ramped up a movement to put the likes of billionaire Donald J. Trump into the White House. Seems to me that his brand of politics is exactly what the doctor ordered to get the republic off life support.
In the final analysis, all of us are alike in many more ways than we are different. It’s time to refocus on the former, so that we — as one nation — can restore faith and hope in the present to allow ourselves to envision a better future.
Dare I say: Merry Christmas!