Play by the Rules – Not Me!

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2016-05-17 – Above my desk I have a ribbon that I got a couple years ago at a conference for making a small contribution to the charity that was sponsored by the conference. I don’t even remember what the charity was.

Affixed to the ribbon (which is navy blue) are six colorful round buttons, each one inch in diameter, as follows:

Be Kind

My Character Matters

Always Be Respectful

Be Responsible

I Am Trustworthy

Play by the Rules

These are subversive buttons.

If you pay attention at all to political news, you know that the sentiments expressed by these buttons are—each and every one—contrary to the way politics is conducted in this country. To act in accordance with these sentiments is to be “politically correct.” And the body politic wants nothing to do with you.

How did this come to pass?

I think it is because politics has gone from being a way to get things done to being a form of entertainment.

Democrats could be wrong when they say (with Donald Trump in mind) that politics is not a reality show. (And isn’t interesting when the least real form of entertainment is called a “reality show.”)

Republicans may be right when they say that the Presidency has usurped power from the Congress. But they like it that way because it relieves them of the stress of having to govern. As long as Congress has no power, they can rant and rave and get reelected and collect tons of money. If Congress governed, the people might expect something more.

But if our society has decided to turn its governing institutions into theater, who will wear the buttons on my ribbon?

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