Political preferences are always a dangerous topic

September 11, 2012

I rarely discuss anything remotely connected to politics. People today are so passionate and emotional about their political views, it can be more dangerous than stepping off a platform at the train station during rush hour and sailing into the third rail.

To even bring up your political preference for a particular candidate, well it’s like being in a crowded saloon in the Old West, surrounded by a bunch of drunken cowboys, and announcing you are from New York City and asking where is the valet parking.

But you almost can’t help being exposed to politics in this year of local primaries and a presidential election; the media blitz and political advertisements are relentless, especially on the television.

It is similar to living next door to a teenager who is learning to play the electric guitar. At first you don’t notice it; it is just noise in the background.

But after a while, the noise levels reach the seismic rumblings of Mt. Vesuvius shortly before it wiped out the entire coast of ancient Italy in 79 A.D. The vibrations from the whole house shaking go on until you decide to just stick a knife in your ear and go out and buy a guide dog.

But not all the advertising today is centered around politics. In an effort to be fair, the networks, in order to take your mind off these political ads, have decided to intersperse these advertisements with announcements about the most intimate parts of your body and what to do when something goes radically wrong and it always goes wrong when it involves the intimate parts of your body, according to the ads anyway.

Don’t you just love run-on sentences?

Anyway, at some point, it is difficult to decide whether you need a plumber or a cork from a bottle. Don’t even bother consulting your physician, since most physicians are now working at Home Depot.

Now there are some things in the election which are valid issues and which you will want to pay attention to, such as will Congress keep subsidizing Publisher’s Clearing House, since you’ve got a lot of coupons saved up after all, and what about vouchers for male enhancing hormones. Yeah!

One of the issues the candidates seem to ignore, instead of focusing on how every household in America will be guaranteed a full set of Bic pens, is just how difficult it is to get a bill through Congress. You can make all the promises you want, but achieving the intricacies of wheeling and dealing to make it happen are, well, just that, wheeling and dealing.

For instance, suppose you wanted to enact a law where every electric guitar in the country would be deported to a place, say Timbuktu, just off the top of my head.

This is just a hypothetical question and has nothing to do with me personally.

Anyway as I understand it, once a bill is introduced, Congress immediately calls for a recess so members may go out and hold press conferences nonstop to explain their positions. The most exciting part of the press conferences is the pants that catch on fire.

After that, which takes about six months, Congress takes a personal interest in the opinion of the constituents, who for some strange reason all seem to live in places with the same area code as Paris, the British Virgin Islands and any beach in South America. Congress then reconvenes to discuss what is in the bill; this takes another six months. Since no one understands what is in the bill, Congress is forced to recess again.

I’m not suggesting that Congress doesn’t get anything done, because in the end they all agree to pass a bill that would demand fire extinguishers be available for every press conference and the electric guitar will not be banned unless another bridge to nowhere is included in the bill.

My advice, which is based on years of political study, is to just change the channel to something less upsetting, like the reality show, “Winnebago Thrills.” The elections will be here soon enough. Just saying.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.

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