Them All

     At a ritzy cocktail party to which I surely should not have been invited, I heard a woman say, “Going to bed with your watch on is a political statement.”
     I never found out what she meant by it. Possibly because I was trying to think of something clever to say next. But probably because I was following the hors d’oeuvres tray around.
     It would be a good slogan … for something.
     For wristwatches?
     For sex? (Sex doesn’t need a slogan.)
     For politics?
     There are no good slogans for politics.
     I can sum up my feelings about U.S. politics in three words, the last two of which are “them all.”
     So let’s talk about the weather.
     Here in Vermont, weather and politics are pretty much the same thing: immense forces bearing down on you, about which you can do nothing, and which will do you harm.
     I’m not talking about Vermont politics. Vermont politics are charming. I’m talking about national politics.
     For instance, it was 6 below zero this morning, with howling winds. Wind chill made it 30 below zero.
     I stepped outside to see what it would feel like, because I thought it would be interesting.
     I was wrong. It was not interesting. There was nothing interesting about it at all.
     Just so, there is nothing interesting anymore about U.S. politics.
     Republicans will keep howling about the dangerous homosexuals, while schtupping little boys on the side.
     Democrats will offer us clichés and act like cowards.
     Both will kowtow to the sexually maladjusted people who run the NRA.
     Republicans will tell us that Taxes Are Evil, but God Is Good, and They Love God.
     Democrats will say they hate taxes and love God, too.
     When they run out of other things to say, both will agree to drop bombs on people whom God, presumably, does not like as much as He likes us.
     But they won’t tax us to pay for the bombs. They’ll borrow the money from China.
     People in the Chinese government will say, “Sure, take a few hundred billion dollars more,” while their relatives pay workers 20 cents an hour to build Apple computers for us.
     Religious bigots in countries we invaded will keep killing each other by the dozens, and we’ll be told it’s some kind of “progress.”
     Israel will build more “settlements” in the West Bank, and torture and kill a few more Palestinians, and Palestinians will try to kill them back, though they’re not as good as it as the Israelis are. And Democrats and Republicans will not say a peep, for fear of losing votes in Florida.
     Congress will pretend to be more upset about the CIA torturing people in a movie than torturing people in real life.
     Clarence Thomas will sniff around for some new snow tires.
     And just when you think winter is over, it will not be.
     I’m not being cynical, or exaggerating, or oversimplifying things. This is what politics has been since the days of Tutankhamen, and this is what it will always be. Only the names change.
     The weatherman says the weather should improve this weekend. The howling winds will die down. Low temperature will remain around zero but it will rise to nearly 20 during the day.
     I’m looking forward to it.

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