As launch date neared for The Corner Oak, I was hoping Id find some hyped-up scene of political theater as material for the new Leaves of Oak series. Lucky us, as Bush might say, weve hit the trifecta.
Three American states, including the two most populous, each with serious budget problems. Each with hard decisions to make. And each, instead, diverted by tabloid-style spectacle. Welcome to The Corner Oaks political theater of the absurd: a farce in three acts.
The Golden State opts for entertainment over governance in this lame comedy based on a goober-natorial recall.
Texas Democrats vamoose to the high desert while the Grand Old Posse tries to round em up. But are there any good guys in this overlong Western?
Yep, its all worthy of a few yuks. But lets not chuckle too smugly at the pantaloons in our political puppet show. Perhaps the fault, my dear Americans, isnt in our stars but in ourselves.
As a polity our crimes are many, independent of our position on the overrated leftright scale. We give in to the royalist principle, supporting a candidate whose face recalls a beloved ancestor, even though there may be little resemblance beyond the face. We clan up with our own ethnic group, refusing to admit that a different-shaded opponent might have greater ability and character. We vote for ballot initiatives that hogtie the revenuers while mandating spanding on popular programs. We become apathetic about the lack of choice and rigged process in elections, but we just use this as an excuse to become political dropouts. And we fixate on totems (flags and monuments) as if they had magical properties while the dull but essential work of balancing budgets gets little discussion in the media or at the water cooler.
If recent events should have taught us anything, its that politics is too important too deadly to be turned into a carnival. So lets share a good laugh over 2003s season of political theater. Then lets all demand more serious fare.
Leaves of Oak © MMIII Lindsey D. Eck. All rights reserved.
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