Hot Time, Summer

Here in the DFW area, we are having one of the hottest summers ever. It is routinely well over 100 degrees every day. Nobody goes outside except for a few minutes. I wake up early to  mow the lawn. No rain. Talk with neighbors ALWAYS begins with something about the heat and draught.

And there is the heat about politics. We have our right wing talk radio station(s), and they rant and rave about changing the government, the crazy liberals, and defend Grover Norquist. According to them W’s spending was too much. The economy is completely Obama’s fault. One guy I know, who is a fan, says he listens to Hate Radio. They say shut up, they call names, they decide how you wil react to any issue.

It is a credit to the moderates and liberals that the “fight fire with fire” mentality has not caught on, at least in the mediasphere. Mainstream media is content to be labelled as liberal and evil by the right media. They truly take the high ground.

The rhetoric about the debt ceiling makes things hotter too. I know JP can respond to my fatigue with all this, but I just want it over with. Be cool. Whatever happened to compromise and dialogue? What ever happened to looking at facts, instead of making them up? There is wisdom in our past, rationality in exchange.

I call them the Crazies – led by people like Michele Bachman, Sean Hannity, Ron Paul. The for-profit media has created a coalition of fanatics, who want to literally overthrow the government. Their “principles” of shrinking the government haveput a road block on any sort of progress, any sort of actual governing. I am not in favor of a radical shake-up, regardless of the size of the numbers we face. I too have seen government NOT work, there are lots of cases, but I have seen it work more often.

Beyond the entertainment value of it all, I look forward to the self destruction of the Tea Party and the right wing extremists.

Tom Friedman (in his NYT column for today) brings up the idea that the internet has empowered the swelling ranks of independents, who are sick of partisan rancor.Friedman is onto something here!  The internet has certainly changed commerce, books, social networking, and so forth. I like this idea of letting everyone have a say, but I also believe we are a representative democracy for good reason. We are supposed to elect smart people to govern us. That is what has not happened recently; we have elected idiotic ideologues. And we have created a populace of reactionary citizens who get regularly riled up by their media. The internet right now allows for reinforcing factions. We need to get past that!

If we put ice in a too-hot oven, there’s not much good coming from it. Let’s cook something good together. We can stand the heat if there’s a shared meal in our future.


About Jim

I've been leading outdoor environmental education in the YMCA since the 1970s. I love teaching nature, history, current events, being a dad, fixing stuff, groups, and general thinking.
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