Thursday, April 7, 2011

"Uncle Grumpy Re-Redux"

It’s been quite a while, but he’s back. My highly opinionated Uncle Grumpy. Uncle Grumpy says controversial things. What’s important to remember is to blame him. I am simply offering him an arena to vent.

All right, Unc. The floor is yours.

Thank you, nephew. It's nice to have a relative so scared of disapproval, he surrenders to podium to a literary device.

Okay. Off we go.

Here’s why I haven’t said much for a year or two. I’ve been told – and I believe it’s true – that a lotta the things I say end conversations. Now that’s not sayin’ that I’m so darn clever, I have the answers to things, so it’s “Cased Closed.” No way, no how. It’s just that I say things that other people choose not to say, and after I say what I say, there is nothin’ more to be said.

Like lookie here.

There is no such thing as an “abortion debate.” You either believe life begins at conception, or you don’t.

End of conversation.

“Now hold your horses,” you might say. “Putting that aside, you can still debate the issue of whether one group of people has the right to impose its religious beliefs on everybody else.”

That’s true, theoretically – like if this were a Jewocracy, and everybody was required to wear little hats – but when the religious belief concerns murder, and with murder, there has to be a murdered person, and there’s an irreconcilable dispute as to whether a fetus, at least at a certain point in its development, is a person – some people thinkin’ it’s a person at conception, others attributin’ “personhood” considerably later on – then you’re back to “Square One”, and there is no possibility for debate.

Ergo, I repeat: End of conversation.

Here’s another one.

Money in politics.

We all know it takes millions of dollars to run for election – for president, hundreds of millions. It’s not magic. The money has to come from somewhere. And you have to be accommodatin' to the people who gave it to you when they call. Can you imagine the president going,

“Can I put you on “Hold” Mr. Wealthy Contributor? I’ve got a poor person on the other line.”

You might want to run for re-election someday, and if you do, you will be callin’ on Mr. Wealthy Contributor again. That’s just the way it is.

Money is the stand-alone Number One issue in politics. Everything else is secondary, because it inevitably “arrows back” to the money.

Universal Health Care? How in Hades do you take the debate seriously, when insurance companies, drug companies and HMO’s are enormous contributors?

Wall Street reform? Yeah, those folks don’t contribute to political campaigns. Not much, they don’t.

Let’s cut defense spending. “Wait, those guys wrote us a big check. On the other hand, we really should cut defense spending, because we got a huge deficit and, you know, you don’t need an aircraft carrier to shoot a guy out of cave. I don’t know. Maybe we should leave the defense budget alone. Or increase it a little, just to be safe.”

Environmental protections? A new energy policy? The Tax Code? Revampin’ the legal and educational systems? Workers’ rights? It’s all the same.

“We’d like to, but what are you gonna do? You can’t bite the hand, you know?”

Until you’re willing to take money out of politics through public financing of campaigns – and by the way, the Supreme Court just went the other way openin’ the floodgates for corporate donations – there is no point in debatin’ any other serious issue. You’d just be flappin’ yer gums. Once again,

End of a whole bunch of conversations.

And then, there’s this one.

“Huckabee says the president ‘grew up in Kenya.’”

“Michele Bachmann claims the Founding Fathers ‘worked tirelessly’ to end slavery.”

“Newt Gingrich says the president exhibits ‘anti-colonial behavior.’”

“Why do they say such ridiculous things?”

You hear that a lot on MSNBC. Chris Matthews is always yammerin’ away about that. He quotes a spokesperson from “the other side” – entirely accurately, but that’s another story – then he knits his brow, and he, symbolically at least, scratches his head – you can hear it in his voice – and he wonders why grown people make such incredibly stupid statements.

The answer is simple.

“Why do they say such ridiculous things?”


They’re not talking to you.

And the people they are talkin’ to? They don’t think they’re ridiculous.

“They’re not talking to you” – by rights, that should end the conversation right there. But it doesn’t. If it did, Chris Matthews would have very little to talk about on his show. So even though everyone – including ol’ Chris – knows the answer, day after day after day, the man keeps


The question.

Okay? So here’s me, itchin’ to pop off on the issues of the day. And there’s almost nothin’ I can pop off about. I can’t debate an issue where no debate is actually possible. I can’t get all worked up about issues that are subsidiary to the only issue that really counts. And I can’t take seriously bizarre statements whose audience is not meant to be me, but another group altogether.

Three important issues. But once you’ve said about them what I just said here, there is nothin’ left to say.

End of conversation.


Blitzen said...

Earl, are you an American citizen now? If so, what's the process like? If not, why not?

Alexander said...

End of conversation.

Maybe for you.

Get it?