It’s funny sometimes how a prevailing thought will come to you in the middle of the night, and in my case I often jump out of bed and make a note of it – just in case that thought dissipates into the cosmos before morning.
It’s like it’s been there in the cerebral software all the time and was just waiting for the right moment to spring forth.
And so it happened to me just the other night. I think I may have hit upon a reason that we have so much of a problem with Congress. It’s been right there before me all these years, and it was so obvious I guess I just kept walking around it. I think that has to do with our tendency to think that everything must be complicated. And if it’s not complicated, we will set out to make it so.
So here’s my thought.
Somewhere way back, we made the mistake of referring to the Republican “Party” and the Democratic “Party.” The operative word here is “party.” The bottom line is we should never have called them “parties.” My rationale is that in using the word “party” we offer a powerful suggestion that they should go there and “party.” We should have given this much thought because this subliminal moniker infected our concept of government with an inherent potential for too much fun and not enough work. It seems that for some of our “leaders,” this is a game. You got us last time, we’ll get you this time. American League versus the National League.
Yet, I’m not sure what we should have called them. Perhaps for lack of a better word we could have just called them the Republican Stuff or the Democratic Thing. What if we should have been very bold and called them the Republican Force and Democratic Force? But even then, a subliminal message might have prevailed, and these bodies would have tried to “force” things down our throats. My gosh, what if that had ever happened? Hee hee.
Now I’m not saying that we haven’t had a few statesmen along the way who would put the good of the country before their re-elections. I’m just saying that they don’t come in big herds.
It used to really tick me off to read about a congressman going to some exotic location to get a close-up view of a situation that we didn’t even know was a situation. They call these “junkets.” And again we get to the value of words and their often-spelled-out subliminal flavor. That said, the root word of junket in this venue would be “junk.”
I’m not going to get on my “term limits” high horse here because, as I have said before, this phrase and this concept amount mostly to folklore or urban legend. Perhaps we should call it “Beltway legend.” Term limits might eventually be put into the category of Bigfoot and Loch Ness Monster. A few people will actually pursue them, knowing full well they don’t exist.
In writing this, I may have ticked off a few congressmen. If I did, it was purely intentional. Let me cut to the chase, I don’t care if I did. It’s not like we would have had crumpets and tea on Sunday afternoon if I had just said nice things about them. And I’ll be honest with you, I don’t even know what crumpets are. It just sounded good at the moment. Perhaps I should have said tea cakes or Oreos.
So let me sum all of this up. I think we have too many congressmen who get elected to a “party” as a noun, but then they turn it into a verb once they realize the great benefits associated with perpetuating themselves in office.
Just a passing thought at 3 a.m.
Dwain Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.