Weary Pilgrim - After Long Absence - October 2014
First of all, what say we all agree on one thing: it was a spectacular summer. Granted, it followed the absolute worst-without-exception winter we can remember, so there’s some kind of karmic backlash-frontlash thing going on there, but hey, the sun just kept on shining, it had plenty of Camelot rain ( after sundown ), the stock market had a rocket tied to its tail, and everybody seemed healthy, wealthy, and wise enough to be thankful about it all.
Exit summer, entrance autumn. Spectacular foliage this year – winter is indeed the price we pay for fall. And the word ‘fall’ says it all. The market still has a rocket on it, it’s just pointed in the other direction. Why? Well, never mind the mess in Europe and Asia, I think basically we lack confidence in the people we are paying to run things. Given the fact that the easiest way to get into the White House appears to be scaling the fence, and the easiest way to outrun Ebola is by flying to Cleveland, you really have to ask yourselves, “Who’s minding the store?” The Clown Patrol currently known as Congress are intent on blaming each other, the President, and the Muslims for every little thing gone wrong. The concept of a clean broom policy is suddenly attractive. Speaking of electing new folks to the Beltway, a word or two on the race for our Sixth District: Seth Moulton ( full disclosure here: he used to house-sit for me, and lets me use his boat ) is running against Richard Tisei, and it’s a close one. I don’t know Richard Tisei, but he is very well thought of by some people I admire, he is a Republican moderate ( read: unicorn ), and I hope he is the future of the Republican party. On the subject of Seth Moulton, I have a pet peeve I would like to air. Bear with me a moment: Seth is a tall, rugged-looking chap, the guy went to Andover ( fabulous grades ), Harvard ( again, fabulous grades – he even gave the commencement address for his class ), did four tours of duty Over There, came back and then got a double master at Harvard in Public Policy and Business, where his main advisor was none other than David Gergen, who is one of these smart guys who is actually smart. The Globe recently ran an article disclosing that Seth got a Bronze Star and basically forgot to mention it to people – I know him really well, and the first I heard of it is when I read it in the Globe. Given all this, on behalf of the men of the world, I would like to point out that Seth owes it to the rest of us to be a real jerk. I mean, it’s the least he can do, right? And here’s the rub – he’s a great guy. Really, the guy is okay. When I think about it, it really ticks me off. Where’s the justice in that? The least we can do is send him to the leper colony known as Washington D.C. If that isn’t punishment for his sins, I don’t know what is. As I write this, only one person has died in the US of Ebola – since the end of summer, over five hundred people a week have died in traffic accidents, and a similar number of people in the US have died every week as a result of firearms. And yet this idea of the evil genie of Ebola escaping the bottle and rampaging among us is captivating our attention, not the least reason of which is that the CDCC is apparently run by people who could screw up a bake sale. It’s like one of those creepy horror films where we are trapped in a dormitory with a serial killer, and we hope the cops get here in time. And you know who the cops are? The private sector drug companies, who are racing furiously to develop a vaccine. As a citizen who has recently signed up for Medicare, I’m glad I checked the prescription box – because something tells me when that vaccine arrives, it ain’t gonna be cheap. But I’ll breathe a sigh of relief when it shows up. Ditto for those who signed up for Obama Care, ( or in our case, Romney Care ). This is how the pubic sector/private sector duet is supposed to work. The private sector develops the drugs, and then the public sector makes sure the citizens can afford it. I think the Ebola nightmare is going to have a secondary and immediate effect in the upcoming elections. When people get into the voting booth, a lot of those who were on the fence are going to look at the candidates, and vote Republican, for the simple reason our current president is screwing up the Ebola mess in a very public way. It’s silly to think that the problem is one of his causing, but he’s an easy target, and as a result of our loss of confidence in him, the Republicans are going to take the Senate. If you think the last several years were Gridlock Hell, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. And Nothin’ is exactly what you are going to see for the next two years. Zip, Doo-doo and Squat will be the secret passwords in Washington. So where does this leave us? Up that old familiar creek in a stone canoe without a paddle, reaching up, touching bottom, sinking like a stone? Nope – not as long as we can vote, I say. So go out there in a couple of weeks and cast your ballot – it’s one of the coolest things you can do standing up. We get the government we deserve. And we deserve better.