I often wonder if anyone reads the musings of the Old Judge. Hardly any comments get posted on the web, and emails approving or disapproving are rare.
But I did get a boost a week or so ago. As my golfing buddies gathered on the practice tee, one after another gave me a shout out. “Saw your blog, Judge.” “Read your blog.” And words to that effect.
They were talking about a blog entitled Sex For Dummies.
Now I don’t think my pals would consider themselves dummies, so I came to the conclusion that what attracted their interest was the word “sex.”
Ah, yes. Sex appeal. It sells cars, clothes, insurance and real estate. It’s the subject that gets everyone’s attention. So much so that the phrase ‘sex appeal’ has come to be a description of anything which has instant, visceral attraction to people in general.
And of course, ‘sex appeal’ in that sense is endemic to the political word.
Most people think that political speeches are boring, political campaigns are ugly, politicians are self-centered and self-aggrandizing.
Trying to get and keep the attention of the public is the principal interest and effort of campaign managers and political strategists.
And of course, of the media which reports their doings. What questions can you ask, what subjects can you debate which will titillate the audience?
The Jacksonville Republican debates were a good example. Wolf Blitzer is an old pro, and he certainly did what the suits in the corporate offices expected of him.
He asked Newt Gingrich about his attack ads against Mitt Romney. Which guaranteed that the next five minutes of the Presidential debate would be devoted to back and forth accusations about who said what about whom and who lied or exaggerated about whose wealth, taxes, income and bank accounts.
I suppose that’s the kind of television the corporate moguls at CNN think is red meat for the couch potatoes in the hinterlands. Had they thought of it, I’m sure they would have brought on Vanna White to flip placards introducing each topic of debate.
For my part, I wonder when candidates for President of the United States will begin to talk about the financial condition of the nation and what must be done about it.
If the stockholders of a corporation that was fifteen trillion dollars in debt were meeting to elect a president of the company, I doubt that they would want to hear about what a candidate’s second wife claimed he wanted to do in bed, or what bank accounts another candidate has in Switzerland or the Cayman Islands.
I think the stockholders would be more interested in hearing exactly what the candidates would propose to do to keep the company from going bankrupt.
Unless I have been grossly mislead, I understand that the credit of the United States of America has been downgraded, that other nations are organizing for the purpose of creating a new international reserve currency to replace the American dollar, that the Federal Reserve is currently issuing paper money at a rate that threatens hyperinflation.
I doubt that Americans have much stomach for hearing about or even thinking about the hard choices that confront us.
But the debate that needs to be conducted is exactly this:
RESOLVED: THAT TO SURVIVE AS A GREAT NATION AND A FREE PEOPLE, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MUST BE DOWNSIZED AND LIMITED TO THOSE ACTIVITIES WHICH WERE CONTEMPLATED BY THE FOUNDERS OF THE NATION AND EXPRESSED IN THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.
Do we really need 479 boards, bureaus, agencies and offices in Washington?
Can we afford a Nanny State?
And who has the experience and the chutzpah to do what needs to be done?