Calculated

Dishevelment

By Guy Ellis

There’s a lot of crying out for change these days, at least as far as the presidential election campaign goes.

Back home there was a guy who, every so often, would put together a sort-of pitchfork campaign for county sheriff, or sometimes city council, and his slogan, in each of his runs, was “Time for a Change.” I don’t believe the poor devil ever won any of the elections he entered but I always admired his guts and his spirit.

So onto the change! And for those longing for it, rest assured, there will be a change. In less than fifty days a new President of the United States will be elected and in January his- and it will be a male again this time, for better or worse- administration will peacefully take over the reins of the executive branch of our government.

The peaceful process by which this transfer of power, or change, will take place is what separates nations such as ours from other places in the world where changes in national leadership are served up at gunpoint.

One change brought about by the conclusion of the election will be the end of the campaigning that goes along with it. As noted by my boss’s column, the campaigning this year has been as bad as ever. How many weeks was my television newscast occupied by images of an obscure, at least to me, minister spewing anti-American rants full of racial prejudice based on an obscure, and harmful, neo-Marxist liberation ideology? And just as that went away a whole new series of outright lies and attacks were begun on one candidate because, at the root of it all, she is a successful woman who doesn’t fit the outdated Gloria Steinem role of feminism.

Whatever happened to the good old days of “Ma! Ma! Where’s my Pa? Gone to the White House, ha, ha, ha!”

At least this current campaign hasn’t had a James T Callender-floating-in-the-James River moment.

Jock Ewing had a firm grasp of the subject. When confronted by Pam after being exposed as the responsible party for her brother’s electoral downfall, Jock dismissed it all with a grunt and the wave of a hand.

“Politics is politics,” he explained.

There’s a lot of talk today that we are a nation in crisis. A cursory glance at the table of contents of any high school American history textbook will reveal that we have always been a nation in crisis or, usually, crises. It was a crisis, of taxation I’m told, that begot these United States.

Now, what was that comment earlier about differences between nations?

Some of those crises from our history were media-driven, anyone remember Y2K?, but most were very real and some were of the potentially-instant-fatal variety. One even has the word crisis as part of its “official” title in our culture.

We’re a nation in crisis because life is a series of struggles. We were evicted from the Garden of Eden a long time ago. Being able to adapt to and overcome the struggle is what makes life rewarding, precious, and valuable.

If the populace wishes for a real change to benefit them then it will be through a process that comes slowly and at a great cost. Go back to that history textbook and see if it isn’t true: ending slavery, enacting suffrage, recognizing civil rights and worker’s rights- the powers that be, from various quarters, were dragged kicking and screaming into making those kinds of beneficial changes for the larger society.

This election will give us a change of suits, a change of style. Like other administrations our new president and his cabinet will produce some notable achievements, I’m sure. But for anyone thinking that either of the candidates is going to change our nation into some kind of Star Trek utopia, Mr. Jones would like to share a drink with you in the kitchen.

In life there isn’t any place you come to where everything gets put in its right place and stays so for the rest of your days. Life isn’t static. Life is always moving and going forward.

I’ve heard that a nation deserves the leaders it elects. But politics can be a strange thing.

There was the time I was visiting with a senior in his home. The man was a Yellow Dog Democrat before the term Yellow Dog Democrat was even invented. He was sharing some of his political views with a group of us.

“Aw, those Republicans! That’s the rich man’s party,” he said dismissively as he sat in front of his 70-inch TV set and looked out through his glass patio door, past his swimming pool, and onto his hundreds of acres of land filled with cattle and tractors.