Thursday, November 4, 2010

The good, the bad and the okay

Just about everything in my world can be broken into three categories – good, bad and okay. When I say everything, that’s exactly what I mean. There are good, bad and okay movies, meals, vacations and jobs; schools, teachers and workshops; doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs. I think you get the idea.

In this rule of threes, it’s been my experience that 10 percent of everything falls into the bad category, 10 percent in the good category and just about everything else – the other 80 percent – is basically okay.

So those meals I had with the lovely Miss Wendy at JCT, Seasons 52 and the Vortex were good – actually, incredibly good; the meals at many fast food joints were bad, and almost all my other dining out experiences have been mostly okay.

I mention all this to detail how I feel about this week’s mid-term elections here in the "Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave". Normally, I don’t waste much time on the “P” word – politics. There’s really little reason to enter that arena of ideas. We’ve reached the point in our national conversation where we no longer talk. Now members of the red and blue camps hold tightly to their positions and yell at one another.

This time around the Grand Old Party has taken hold of the national agenda and once again promises are being made that the will of the people – that would be you and me – has been heard loud and clear and change is in the air.

Change, you'll recall, was also in the air two years ago; ditto four years earlier and, well, four years before that. Meanwhile, Congress has been gridlocked for years, our leaders unwilling to budge outside their comfort zones, playing to their ideological bases.

Once upon a time there were good, bad and okay politicians. The good were men and women of vision, ideas and ideals; the bad were unethical crooks in search of power and money; and the rest were okay, honest citizens willing to work with one another – to compromise – to make better this idea we call the United States of America.

All of that pretty much remains the same, except the proportions detailed above have fallen apart. Today, I’d say 1 percent of our public servants are good, 10 percent are okay and 89 percent are ideological nuts.

Here’s hoping the 1 percent have the vision to pull us out of the mess we find ourselves in these days, the 10 percent are willing to listen and lead, and the rest simply stay out of the way and do no additional harm.

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