Friday, March 4, 2016

I Am a Lonely Visitor

I’m trying to imagine the United States of America as it existed in the months prior to the election of 1860. We were, say historians, a house divided in a way not seen until….well, in the most recent couple of years around these parts.

Despite remanufactured history the hot button item at that time wasn’t states’ rights; that was the lie some people told one another to let themselves sleep. Some are still slumbering, you can hear them snoring. Nope, it was slavery.

Just ask South Carolina, who put it in writing in their “it’s not you, it’s me’ explanation to history on why they were checking out of these United States. That’s my way of suggesting you consider taking that ‘it’s heritage and not hatred’ flag and furl it, Ferlin. 

Recycling is every other Friday, but that argument has been recycled often enough I think; the trash heap of history is more suitable and while you’re disposing of it, please take that apologist/revisionist/dog whistler, Jeffrey Lord, with you on your way to the brave new world.

Meanwhile, it’s 1860 and James Buchanan is sitting in the White House as we start to disintegrate as a nation. There’s Abraham Lincoln and those upstarts in the Republican Party and Stephen A. Douglas, John C. Breckenridge and for good measure, John Bell (no relation to Alexander Graham or Taco). 

Could Buchanan as the soon-to-be former President have done more to avert what next happened? I don’t know and I don’t think anybody does, but here in what has already been a very scarily unusual Presidential election year, we discovered yesterday we were already only fanny-deep in the strangeness.

A former Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, he of the ‘pit-bull’ reputation (on the moon, perhaps), took a turn at stemming the tide of history. Or not.  I know you’re not confused about my loyalties. There’s no way I and Forrest Trump ever go shoe shopping. Ever. And yet the rules of the GOP game are supposed to be the same for everyone and he can't help it if GOP voters seem to like him.

But, calling him names and (to me more importantly) calling those who support him names, especially unkind ones, is not going to afford us as a nation better or more informed choices in November than where we’re already heading. Don’t raise your voices, elevate your arguments.

We’ve gone from the Kennedy-Nixon debates of 1960 to auditions for some kind of a “Your Mama Is So….” cut battle game show.  H. L. Mencken, please pick up the white (of course) courtesy phone in the lobby for the hotel queens and magazines.

-bill kenny

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