A jaded guide to the 2012 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion

The Covington News - - The Second Opinion -

To cope with the in­san­ity of mod­ern U.S. pres­i­den­tial elec­tions, I’ve adopted a jaded strat­egy that I’ll share with you. My opin­ion is harsh, but I’m call­ing it as I see it.

It’s just a big sport­ing event – Amer­ica loves team sports, and we’ve made the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion our new “na­tional pas­time.” We wear team col­ors, we hoot and holler, and we call the other side all kinds of names. If we could round up a bunch of guys to sell beer and hot dogs, we could fill a sta­dium full of Democrats and Republicans all foam­ing at the mouth for an­other po­lit­i­cal touch­down, pray­ing for some­one to sack the other guy be­hind his own line of scrim­mage. This mind­less view of the elec­tion as a big game has turned us into a coun­try of teams, lines, penal­ties, and yards gained as we lose the spirit of po­lit­i­cal co­op­er­a­tion and a uni­fied na­tion.

Nei­ther side has the an­swers – Imag­ine two dogs dis­cussing how to per­form open heart surgery. Go on, pre­tend they’re talk­ing dogs and they’re wear­ing lab coats. Would you let ei­ther of them op­er­ate on you? No, you wouldn’t. So why do you trust po­lit­i­cal op­er­a­tives telling you they know how to fix the econ­omy? Pre­tend Obama and Rom­ney are wear­ing lab coats. It’s not go­ing to make it any bet­ter. We do our­selves a dis­ser­vice by pre­tend­ing that the elec­tion is about se­lect­ing the one, true sav­ior of the coun­try, the one who has the golden plan. There are no sav­iors seek­ing of­fice. We just have talk­ing dogs in lab coats and they don’t have a clue about per­form­ing the op­er­a­tion this coun­try needs to stay alive.

The hon­ey­moon won’t last – a few months af­ter the elec­tion, the ma­jor­ity of Amer­ica will hate the one we elect; that’s the re­al­ity. We’ll start talk­ing about the next elec­tion, when our team gets an­other chance to field its hero, when our talk­ing dog gets to wear his lab coat and tell us how he’ll fix the world, when we can get “the bum” out of of­fice. We’re a fickle coun­try. We might even change team al­le­giances, or root for some off-brand, un­der­dog team out­side the tra­di­tional league.

David McCoy, a no­to­ri­ous sto­ry­teller and proud Yel­low Jacket, lives in Cov­ing­ton and can be reached at davm­c­coy@bel­lsouth.net.


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