Sunday, October 14, 2012

Empty Chairs and Puppets

You know how on the local news, from time to time a reporter will get all serious about an issue and do sort of a video editorial? It'll usually be at the end of the broadcast, and it'll have the reporter's signature at the bottom of the screen to indicate that it's separate from the reporter's usually non-opinionated reporting. In the Dallas area, Dale Hansen does this frequently during the NFL season when he wants to rant about Jerry Jones or the Cowboys. He calls it Dale Hansen: Unplugged.

That's what this is going to be. Completely political. Completely my own opinion. As close to channeling Aaron Sorkin as my feeble abilities will allow. Read it or don't read it, but do me a favor and accept that it's okay for me to have an opinion. I'll allow you yours, if you'll allow me mine, okay? Thanks.

The picture at the top is one that I took this morning as Sammie and I walked. Took me a second, but I finally figured out that it's an attempt at humor - Clint Eastwood's empty chair. Clever.

On my Facebook News Feed these days are tons of comments from my right-of-center friends proclaiming how SO very tired they are of hearing about Big Bird. "Why do liberals keep bringing up Big Bird? Don't they realize there are bigger problems than that stupid bird?" Oddly enough, there are probably at least 47% of us who are equally tired of hearing about the empty chair.

What's that you say? The empty chair is simply a symbol of what's wrong with the United States in 2012? know what?

So is Big Bird.

We have Big Problems in our country today; problems that did not just pop up in the last three and a half years, and that will not be solved in the next four, or eight, or a hundred and eight years, unless we can manage to find some honest-to-God grown-ups who are willing to work TOGETHER to find to find non-partisan solutions that will address and benefit ALL of the people they govern.

Our Big Problems need Big Solutions that aren't ten-second sound bites or Internet memes, a Big Bird political ad or an empty chair in somebody's front yard. We need serious adults with a serious desire to make a difference.

For everyone. Not just their friends. Not just the people who think like they do. Not just the people who gave them money. Not just the people who voted for them.

For everyone. WE. The people.

Do we have those serious adults in front of us today? I do not know; I wish I did. But what I do know is this:

We cannot thrive, as a nation, when our only choices are Us vs Them. You vs Me. My Way or the Highway. The 47% vs the 53%. Until we get those serious people with serious, bi-partisan ideas, we're destined to be right back in this very same spot again every four years, ad infinitum, ad nauseaum.

Talking about empty chairs and puppets instead of solutions that will make a difference.