And the band played on: It’s politics as usual in 2016

Craig Hall, Publisher
Craig Hall, Publisher

Of course I have to touch on the hot topic of the day — which is the primary, caucus or however you’d like to refer to the little upheaval in Colorado.

For the record, I’m proud to say that for the 16th straight year, I had nothing to do with politics in Colorado. To some, that’s the ultimate form of insult — to not be part of the process and yet have the nerve to comment or complain. To those folks I simply say, “Whatever.” Either you respect the Constitution, or you don’t. I’m beginning to see that all too many backing our presidential candidates have one thing in common: They don’t.

So I’m going to help them out. Here’s the First Amendment word for word: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

I don’t need to spend a lot of time reading this over and over again to try to find the words “if you vote” or “if you’re part of the primary process” or “if you belong to a certain party” or “if you back a certain candidate.” Here’s why: They don’t exist. And believe me when I say this, our government needs a lot of redressing.

And believe this even more. Electing Hillary or Bernie or Donald will assure one thing. You’ll lose more of this unalienable right the second they take office. I doubt Ted will make much difference, either. The reason is simple. Government has become so big, so overreaching and controls so much in money and power the words and actions of a good, Constitution-fearing individual will mean little, no matter that person’s passion for getting things back to where they should be. Because all we’re doing now is playing politics. And like wrestling with a pig, you’re gonna get muddy and lose to the pig. Well, politician.

Republicans have spent the past eight years saying the No. 1 rule of the Democrats is to keep people arguing amongst themselves. Now look at our party, fighting amongst itself in the very same manner. That part of the playbook knows no party. That’s the eternal way of the politician.

If you’d like a more recent look at the more things change, the more they stay the same, look no further than the Republican primaries. I never thought  some rich guy could just jump into the Republican race out of nowhere and split the party, all while helping some Democrat named Clinton win the presidency. Wait a minute … it DOES sound familiar. It’s almost as if the Clintons hired a loud, brash, “telling it like it is” rich guy to split the Republican party in the primaries and then run third party in the general election so they could win with the electoral college … AGAIN. What hurts the most is that it’s working. AGAIN.

That brings us to what everyone running for president is getting away with — again: Lying and behavior we wouldn’t tolerate in our brattiest kid, a friend or even an acquaintance, let alone someone running for the “highest office in the land.” Maybe if it was just an office to assure the Constitution was protected and defended (you know, like the oath they all take) it would be the lowly office it needs to be to keep the rest of us free to do that whole pursuit of happiness thing. Plus, with the Constitution in place, socialists (well, Democrats) would never think of running for office.  

Also, the sheer number of lies, and the arrogance in how,  and how often, they’e told by candidates is mesmerizing — to the point of sycophants accepting them as part of how the game is played. Worse yet, the language and attitudes of our candidates (for the most part) are appalling. Not that there haven’t been terrible lies and language used before, but our 24/7 news cycle makes them somehow either palatable or has apathy at an all-time high. And while apathy is indeed the goal of the politician, it’s also become the treatment of choice concerning our elections. How else can you handle Republicans now saying the affairs of Donald Trump are acceptable because he’s “up front about his infidelity” all while they scream for Cruz’s head over National Enquirer rumors (where did those go, by the way?) and who were (appropriately) apoplectic about Bill Clinton’s misogynistic behavior?

It’s time to give a shout out to the Jefferson, FDR, Kennedy and Clinton camps for this acceptance. You’d also do well to notice one thing in common party wise here, but that no longer matters. I’d argue it’s another reason Trump decided to run — because life-long Democrats are allowed this behavior. It also explains why the rumors about Cruz abound —because decent Americans know it goes to character. The problem for “we, the people” is that this makes the bad ones buy-able or the good ones destroy-able (by rumor), or worse, some kind of control freak worthy of glomming on to.

You can decide which candidate falls into which arena, or all of them. But at least with Jefferson, his affairs were his, and he knew enough to leave the peoples’ affairs to the people.