Monday, November 12, 2012

The First Monday AFTER the First Tuesday

I think a new American political tradition might be in order. And this, the first Monday AFTER the national elections on the first Tuesday in November and as an extension of the holiday observances connected with  Veterans Day is the PERFECT time to declare this to be the first (annual) STFU Day.

Sorry about the crudity, but let's face it-some of us did no more than pause on Election Night and reload. For all intents and purposes, Campaign 2016 has already started. Don't mistake my point: I know nothing about Governor Rubio and I don't live in Florida (not necessarily mutually exclusionary ideas from what I've seen in elections past in the Sunshine State) but we need to stop the constant campaigning that's actually nothing more than repackaging of the same old song and dance.

I'd love to see all of us declare a moratorium on cable news talking heads who are NOT journalists. In a generation of television, we went from Edward R. Murrow and Fred Friendly to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. People such as Tim Russert, Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings proved to be more the exception than the rule. As a former card-carrying member of the Marconi-mafia, I am embarrassed by much of what we have done in mass media in the last thirty years.

When I talk about TV blowhards, it's a target-rich environment. And yes, Chris Matthews, I mean you and while I love Rachel Maddow (not like the Mittster with Big Bird), you as well. Keith Olbermann can stay in permanent video exile (where is Elba in cable terms? Turns out, NOT in Fort Lee, New Jersey) and almost everyone on Fox News should go away most especially Tucker Carlson (being a twit on national TV should be a felony and I should get to pick your cell-mate), Charles Krauthammer, a giftzwerg of a previously incalcuable dimension and unimaginable magnitude and my bestie-beastie, Sean Hannity, who is (to my knowledge) the world's only living brain donor.

Here's a guy, William Saletan, I can relate to without agreeing with. We used to do that a lot in this country as I recall from when I was a child. We had a Republican Party with Charles Percy, John Chaffee, Nelson Rockefeller and Barry Goldwater, John Dulles, Henry Cabot Lodge. They shared the same political party affiliation with about the approximate amount of joy George Wallace and Lyndon Johnson had in their party.
(No, I didn't hyperlink ANY of them. You should know who they are already except our schools are to learning what Velveeta is to cheese.)

And still stuff got down. People who disagreed on everything else, agreed to the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Rights Amendment. Those who came down on every possible variant of immigration and naturalization questions could agree that this country was the #1 destination of free-thinking people from around the globe so it stood to reason we should help them help us become even more successful because to do so we needed every bit of help we could get.

It was an era where people rolled up sleeves instead of pointing fingers. It was a time when rational civil discourse hadn't yet been hijacked by stuffed shirt ideologues shouting slogans at one another while sponsors and patrons watched to see who made the needle move more. We didn't handicap every election like it was a horse race-all we're lacking now is for someone to take the loser out behind the barn and shoot him.

In other words, we can argue for the next four years over who won last Tuesday's election, but if we don't close our mouths and give our ears a chance it will be very obvious very quickly who lost. All of us. Again.
-bill kenny        

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