Grasshopper Soup: There’s plenty to keep us occupied
October 11, 2011
TAHOE/TRUCKEE and#8212; How many politicians does it take to teach pre-school? Zero, because children already know how to act like children. They already know how to follow up a brilliant statement with one that makes no sense, and vice versa. Children know how to conspire, manipulate and stretch the truth. Children constantly reinterpret and redefine their own behavior, and can easily describe for us a perfect world. They are gifted politicians.
Adults donand#8217;t make children, children make adults. That explains a lot of what happens in America. We keep getting new teachers with a totally different lesson plan. The goal line keeps moving. The level isnand#8217;t level. The wheels are out of alignment. The fuel filter is clogged. The computers are all under attack. The policy keeps changing. Nobody admits to anything. The answer is whatever the teacher says it is, and you canand#8217;t argue with the teacher. After all, he wears a suit and tie, cites statistics, says and#8220;I donand#8217;t recalland#8221; a lot and presents himself well. And I am not talking about Obama. I am talking about oodles of greedy, dishonest crooks in government and the workplace. Donand#8217;t expect them to change any time soon. Challenge them and they claim the standard excuses, or fire you.
No wonder Wall Street has been occupied. If you must complain, might as well complain about capitalism. Occupy Wall Street, which has spread almost everywhere, has a perfect ally in capitalism. Capitalism is the means the occupation uses to support itself.
Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party Movement are two sides of the same coin. Protest is exciting. It takes style. It couldnand#8217;t be more confusing though. A gazillion signs all say something different. People are mad at Bush, Obama and Christopher Columbus.
Who, or what, is to blame for all the problems in America? Maybe the problems are simply inevitable when so many different kinds of people live together in one complicated, imperfect place. A lot needs fixing, but human nature will never change.
Changing the system from within is the best strategy. What could be better than getting a job as a staff attorney for the Department of Justice, working your way up to Chief of Staff, finding proof that your boss is a crook and a liar, walking into his office without knocking, personally serving him with a subpoena and then taking his job?
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You think protesters are a problem? Half the time, authority canand#8217;t even accept its own authority. Especially when it gets caught red handed in a scandal.
Not all politicians act like children. But the mature ones canand#8217;t snap their fingers and instantly turn all the bad people into honest, generous champions of the people.
Too many people in all three branches of government are virtually unsupervised. The few good ones in the room may influence, inspire and succeed here and there, but, for the most part, doing what is best for all the people has become politically impossible. It may even be physically impossible due to the sheer numbers of people. But we try.
Passing laws is like playing and#8220;Pin The Tail On The Donkey,and#8221; only everybody in the room is blindfolded and you add an elephant. The donkey is covered with elephant tails and the elephant is covered with donkey tails. The donkey and elephant look the same.
When the smartest, most honest kids in the fraternity introduce a bill, the other party introduces a different bill and blames the honest ones for refusing to do what is right.
In government, call for debate on a bill and you get accused of wanting to suppress it. Try to pass a bill and you get blamed for stifling debate, even if your opponent wants it passed right away. Agree with your opponent and he blames you for playing politics. Disagree with him and he lies about you. The bad guy pretends to be the good guy and steals you blind. You can be incompetent or corrupt and blend right in.
And this is the greatest country in the world!
Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 28 years.