Politics is in full bloody bloom. Candidates are slashing their way through the American living room with furious flags to fly and vile enemies to devour. Our quadrennial no-prisoners-taken pig-out. Following Wednesday’s Republican Debate, at least two themes became clear: (1) an angry rejection of “Obama’s America” (2) a lusty recollection of the “Real America.” Soon now we’ll hear the fiery counter-themes.
But what exactly is this Real America? Actually it’s not every exact. But then visions never are. Perhaps it’s those small Huckleberry communities where everyone knows your name…local mom & pop retailers servicing their neighbors…kids able to chase fireflies late and safe into the night…especially, bold shirtsleeve innovators free to build their dreams without any government interference.
Who wouldn’t want a touch of Mayberry USA? In contrast to our sprawling impersonal cities… gangs …crime…unemployment; plus those encroaching ghettos, immigrants, and death-panels. People in hard times want to hear about better times. About a paradise lost that can be found again. If only the vipers in the Garden can be destroyed! After all weren’t they our Garden’s ruin in the first place?
Campaigns have wordy policy papers that most voters won’t read. Campaigners, on the other hand, have feel-good images that any voter can picture. Reassuring images of what the Real America once looked like and can look like again. But first, as with all great crusades, the crusaders must be able to lead us to the vipers’ nest. On Wednesday the nest was found and tagged: “Government interference.” That crawly thing that somehow took root in our once upon a time free-and-natural Garden of growth.
Standing in the very holy-of-holies of the prophet who first said “government is not the solution but the problem,” this crusade to reclaim the Real America thundered well. Soon we will hear from the other end of the Garden. More specifically, the candidate who would remain president in the belief that government is not the vipers in our garden, but more like the fences. There to protect the harvests from the foxes.
Ready or not, fellow toilers, we face 13 months of no-prisoners-taken struggle to win over our Garden.
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