Saturday, May 24, 2014

Truth and Balance

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.  … Winston Churchill

Shinseki, Shinseki, Shinseki; Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi; it is like some monstrous chant, a poem for the self promoting that is shouted over and over again without the slightest interest in what it might signify, invoke or generate. The political class, always anxious to stick its face in front of a camera and righteously frowning its displeasure or moral indignation, can’t wait to weigh in on the V.A. scandal.  For instance Allison Lundergan Grimes, running to unseat Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, pilled on and called for Secretary Shinseki’s resignation.  I Tweeted her this morning suggesting that she give equal time to her opponent by repeating her objections from February when he lead his caucus to block a bill that would have expanded veterans health and educational benefits. 

Somewhere in the vast, whirring electron fields of the Internet there is a picture of Senator Bernie Sanders with his head in his hands just after he realized that the bill was going nowhere.  Later he told McConnell and the Republican skinflints in the Senate, “If you think it's too expensive to take care of veterans, then don't send them to war.”  It is about balance goddamn it; it is about telling both sides of the story. 

We can’t count on most of the media to give parity to both planks of an issue.  They are either busy flashing their teeth and knees for the camera, kowtowing to their corporate masters or presuming through their infinite arrogance and hubris to give their personal bias the weight of high quality journalism and breaking news – case in point, Benghazi.  It is only within the last several days that I have heard pundits make a point of drawing attention to the fact that the very same Republicans sitting both on Oversight and now on Boehner’s Select Committee voted to cut State’s funding, much of it earmarked for security, one month before the attack. 

In the final analysis most politicians are alike.  They will do anything to get elected and everything to stay elected.  A corrupt Supreme Court and Citizens United has guaranteed that only the richest need apply.  Dirty tricks, influence peddling and other forms of legalized corruption have given our political and electoral institutions the scent of the sewer and the dreadful visual sensations of sadistic pornography.  Our Democracy is circling the drain.  The only thing that will save it is the truth. 

Truth does not limp along on one leg, having lost the other to a gangrenous process resulting from loss of circulation.  It stands firmly on both feet and holds its center of gravity against our best efforts and worst intentions to knock it down.  Demand the truth.  Listen for it, and talk back when you believe you aren't getting it. 

First we get the truth; then we vote. 

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