Tuesday, September 04, 2012

What I Didn't See

I had one of those "only in America" moments last week. A few weeks ago I noticed a middle-aged woman trying to play tennis with an old wood racquet that was probably fished from some box in the garage. I pulled out one of my extras and offered to let her borrow it. She seemed to like it, but I had to leave shortly after, and so we traded numbers to arrange for the racquet's return. Just for the record, the woman is of Asian descent, with an accent to match. I noted that her first name is French and her last name is Irish.
I'm really not under any pressure to get the racquet back soon, but called last week just to see what was happening. She answered, but, the next thing I knew, she was talking about dancing at the Moose Lodge and asking if I enjoyed doing the Polka, or any of those country line dances. I still don't have the racquet back, but at least now I know a person who could be a one-woman UN.

Here's another entry in the "Great Sports Names" category. It's "Jack Sock", who is actually an upcoming American tennis player. I don't know if he has won any tournaments yet, but could you imagine the possibilities if he should ever tie the knot with actress Elizabeth Shue, or tennis player Cara Black, or ...oh, never mind. At least it's easy to remember. 

Now to explain this week's title subject. You would think, wouldn't you, that someone who writes a weekly blog in which political trends get heavy play, that I would have a great deal to say about last week's Republican convention in the hurricane threatened city of Tampa, FL. There are a few things to mention, but I just couldn't get any TV in the house to stay tuned to it. It must have been that sinister force which sometimes turns the TV set ON when there's a big game being played on Sunday. It's just one of those things that Science can't explain!
Or perhaps it's just one more thumping realization that campaigning for office and holding elected office are very very different things. The skills it takes to run for office just don't get it done when there are terrorists to pursue, or House members to get in line, or allies to hammer out differences with or or disaster victims to aid or young geniuses now in school that need help to stay there.
I've watched many a convention speech over the years, but just what am I going to learn from the GOP's "Elect-A-Rama" that's  new? I know most of them hate Obama, though the reasons vary, or else they wouldn't cheer Mitt Romney, a guy who's not the guy most people would care to swap stories with. I know most of the speakers had nothing at all to say about their own nominee, and that his running mate is busy highlighting certain areas of his past while burying others. I know Condi Rice will not honestly discuss publicly how it is that we came to be in a ridiculous war in Iraq. I even know that the party's nominee feels free to disagree with his own party platform regarding reproductive health care for women. And I know Mr. Romney is not going to give the public a quick summary of Mormon beliefs, of which I am all too aware.  He won't give us the true story on his taxes, either.
And I know some other things, too. I know the party's real audience isn't the general  public, but Big Business, on whose behalf we hear screams of "Drill, Baby, Drill!"or "Stop Voter Fraud!" or just "USA, USA" as though shouting means that you're more patriotic than the quiet person in the next seat. I know that if one person's correct understanding of facts represents one little candle in the darkness, then the paid-for "speech" of someone like Goldman Sachs can speak with the light of a thousand white-hot suns.
I know, in fact, that the next two months will be an unceasing calumny of extremism disguised as wisdom and greed masquerading as patriotism. Finally, I also know that the Democrats, in an attempt to keep the electoral votes of North Carolina, will be just marginally more honest about it all than the party of Lincoln. But through it all, I must keep telling myself that underneath all the glitter, there actually are some serious governing skills put to work each day, though not by the people who say that their TOP priority is making Mr. Obama a one-term president. 


Post a Comment

<< Home