Well, Thank-You, C-SPAN
Now, now, before you go accusing me of being a super boring politics nerd, I have to tell you that I don’t watch C-SPAN all that often. I mean, sure. Sometimes I tune in to the morning show where the obviously sedated extremely calm host takes calls from both the right and the left as they discuss the topics of the day.
I get a kick out of the non-reactions of those C-SPAN folks when the callers scream that “THIS means civil war!!!” and “THIS is the end of civilization as we know it.” It’s good to get a laugh out of the news.
But I rarely watch actual Congressional hearings, with testimony and experts and all that good stuff.
Today, however, my close friend told me that her daughter-in-law would be giving testimony at one of the hearings and that she would be on live coverage. That sounded pretty exciting to me, so I tuned in right at 10 AM to see her give her professional and well-respected opinion on issues of national security.
I clicked on the set and was both surprised and nauseated to find myself listening to the brain-melting drone of Mitch McConnell as he scolded the Democrats for not passing a spending bill. “They refuse to take any action,” he whined, sounding shocked at the idea of Congress stonewalling for any reason.
Oh, the hypocrisy.
I switched over to C-SPAN2, where I was forced to endure a series of Congressmen moaning and gnashing their teeth over the terrible danger that vaping is posing to our youth. One after the other, they got up to declare (with surprisingly straight faces) that they will NOT stand by and simply DO NOTHING while the health and safety of our youth are at risk!
Each one sounded more sincere than the one before. If you didn’t know any better, you would have thought that this was a group of national leaders who valued our children. You would have known in your heart that these people would do just about anything to keep our children safe! They’d probably pass a hundred laws if they thought it would stop a classroom full of six years old from being shredded into bits by an AR-15.
You would have been wrong.
Oh, the fuckin’ hypocrisy.
I kept flipping the channels back and forth, hoping to see my friend’s smart and articulate DIL.
Instead, I was treated to a bunch of wrinkly old white men complaining and whining about the other wrinkly old white men who weren’t playing fair. “They cheated!” was followed by “THEY cheated!”
The language was most likely more sophisticated than what I am offering here, but this old retired elementary school teacher knew exactly what she was hearing.
Having mediated at least 1,000 recess and classroom disputes in my career, I know that what I was hearing was this:
“I want to play the game MY way!”
“But I want to play it MY way!”
“No, my rules!” “No, mine!”
“You’re a doody pants!”
“He called me a doody pants! YOU’RE a doody poopy pants!!!!”
It was…..ridiculous. It was absurd. It was disgusting and demoralizing and it was validating.
It was proof positive that this country absolutely must move beyond the two entrenched, corporate parties. A thought that I’ve been spouting for years. We must be done with a two-party electoral system.
Otherwise, I fear that no one will ever have a chance to listen to the wisdom of those who actually run things every day. Instead, we will be left with the choice of subjecting ourselves to the worst juvenile behavior that any fifth-grader could even imagine or disengaging from the democratic process completely.