Archive for September, 2018

Mullins for the 112th

September 23, 2018 Leave a comment

It’s used to be hard to be cynical. It took work. It wasn’t the natural state of affairs.

Statler_Waldorf_muppets_KYMThere was always the occasional Statler and Waldorf characters perched in boxes overlooking the stage, heckling those actually in the arena, but that was more comedic relief than anything else. It broke up the monotony of people just sorta going along and getting along, because being a dick just used up too much damn energy.

And then some idiot invented the internet. And then another idiot invented what we call social media. And the idiocy spread exponentially, like in that 70s shampoo commercial (“and she told 2 friends, and they told 2 friends, and so on, and so on, and so on…”).

And so now experts are everywhere, picking and choosing their beliefs from outlets that buttress their arguments, and fashioning an Orwellian relationship with actual facts. “Doublethink” has become “fake news”…..and “Newspeak” has an actual location, at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in NYC. But I ideologically digress…

So cynicism is easy now. It just oozes from us, and even when we try to keep in away it’s like the Blob finding its way into that diner. We’ve become experts on everything….wielding our astounding array of newfound knowledge on everything from the draft choices of the Cleveland Browns to the geo-political ramifications of defending Nazis, to the economics of trade tariffs, bloviating in comment sections and Twitter feeds like couch-laden Henry Kissingers, putting the beer down just long enough so we can peck with 2 thumbs (oh how as the son of a writer I miss the sound of the old Underwood typewriter)….and then eagerly await the fool who’ll try to challenge our wisdom….usually in about 4 seconds. Arguing on social media is like climbing a mountain to punch an echo. Does that stop us? It does not.

So what we’re left with is a non-stop silly season. Some dive in head first, loving the anonymous bully pulpit. These are the people best ignored at parties. Others just go dark, posting nothing but pictures of their dog or restaurant entrees….and leave trade imbalances with China or Russian democracy hacking to others. Others straddle a fine line between the two, dipping an occasional toe in the water in an attempt to bring either civility, empathy, or just plain old common sense into the fray, mostly to no avail. The Stupids have largely taken over, not so much by their numbers, but by their sheer willingness to be the loudest ones in every room. When facts no longer matter, volume pretty much takes over.

Politics at times resembles a Shakespearean tragedy…..a seemingly endless parade of mug shots and serial rapists and vikings on a pillaging spree…..all dressed really nice with that flag lapel always prominent…..shaking your hand with one arm while picking your pocket with the other. It’s become a cult of personality from the top down, driven by always having somebody else to blame. In our current culture, it’s next to impossible to win an election by bringing people together. Division is sown on purpose, as a device. And it works, because as long as I can blame stuff on others, it can’t be my fault. I want absolution Bubba….isn’t that what we’re all after?

kyleFull disclosure. My father and Kyle Mullins’ grandfather were brothers. So yea, maybe I’m biased. Blood matters. But I don’t think this is driven by that. Hear me out. It’s very simple.

Kyle Mullins is running for State Rep in the PA 112th district. My district. I know this kid. I’ve known him since he was born. Public service is what he’s always wanted. We used to joke that he’d be President someday. He’d laugh, but not that hard. You know what I’m saying? You could see it in his eyes. “Maybe….why not?” Why not indeed. This is the start of Kyle’s journey….not the end of it.

What Kyle gives me is a sense of hope. It sounds trite and corny but I’m too old to give a shit. He’s a genuine throwback….appealing to our better angels and not our ignorance and prejudices. He’s focused, scrupulously honest, empathetic, and indefatigable. Great husband, father, and friend. Raised as a gentleman by a great family (duh!). He’s exactly what we need…a man who forsakes the trough…unless he’s reaching down to help somebody out of it.

Can you honestly say that politics doesn’t need a man like this? Who knows…maybe it’ll catch on. God knows it hasn’t been tried that much recently. Hell, tell 2 friends. Maybe they’ll tell 2 friends. And so on and so on and so on…..

So that’s my spiel. Take it or leave it I guess. Be good to one another regardless. Don’t act like a dick.

Imagine the difference that would make, eh?

We tend to over-complicate things. It ain’t that hard.

In a bit..


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