Here we go again

Life in the Pedestrian Lane

Happy New Year! Here we are two weeks into 2012 and all's well ... or at least no different than the end of 2011 unfortunately.


Iowa and New Hampshire have done their thing and life and politics go on as usual (forever). Nancy has been vilified for spending the break in a $10,000 a night hotel in Hawaii, Newt called Mitt a Liar, Michelle called it a day (maybe the smartest of them all) and everyone is making a beeline for South Carolina, except the president who is resting on his laurels or whatever, happy he doesn't have to fight this particular battle.

Is it any wonder that those who run for office seem tough, inconsiderate and abrasive not to mention outspoken and argumentative? Anyone else couldn't and wouldn't stand the flak. We've even heard statements to the effect of "I don't want my family put through that scrutiny." Everyone has a skeleton or two and someone, somewhere knows what it is, and will sell it to The Inquirer or the New York Times for their fifteen minutes of fame.

I always wonder who had the foresight to keep all those old speeches and TV clips in case someone decided to seek public office. Who in the world would have suspected Christine O'Donnell would ever run for the Senate in Delaware and kept TV spots of her 'witchcraft' statements ... someone who has a lot of time on his hands, obviously, because that same person must have saved all the old rough drafts of theses, junked e-mails, teenage diary entries, and notes written to girlfriends 40 years ago just to haunt anyone who might harbor a thought of running for office.

It's probably a good thing I was never inclined toward public office. I'd really hate to be held accountable for something I said or did when I was 20, or even 30. It has been my understanding of life that we grow in experience and expand our vision. Hence, an idea or belief one accepts at 20 may or may not be held in the same esteem as one ages. Life situations change prompting subtle adjustments to one's mind set. For instance,  I am the oldest of seven so babies and little kids were never that interesting to me, nor was having kids ever my goal ... but as we all know, life happens and our first baby certainly changed my outlook.  I'd not want my statements about babies being a pain in the neck and little brothers a spawn of the devil, thoughts I seriously espoused in my younger days ( and, truth be told, once or twice since), to be brought up today as my feelings about family and raising kids.

So, if I were to seek the presidency the fact that I read (and enjoyed) The Exorcist in the seventies would probably not bode well with the ultra-right. More recently, I've even encouraged my granddaughters to read the Harry Potter series. Advocating that textbook of wizardry and magic would certainly sink me with the fundamentalist community. And I wrote and presented a paper on the right to keep and bear arms when I was in College, so that shoots me down (sorry) with the far left. I might be able to depend on the Independent voters, except at one time I was very vocal regarding the rationality of giving to Israel some other country's land area to make it an independent country. Of course I was fourteen years old and could barely find it on the map, (truth to tell, it was not even on some maps) but apparently that counts. My position on that subject has altered some in the decades since, but that might be seen as hypocritical by those who haven't changed a thought or attitude in fifty years.

I made a resolution this New Years to only watch the news once a week ... probably on a Wednesday, like a soap opera that you can watch once a week and keep up with the story quite well. Actually, once a month and you don't miss anything...except I'm afraid with the news I might miss something really important, like the president making a decision, or the Republicans sticking to the point. Maybe Congress will DO something, or, heaven forbid, I might skip the next installment of the Kardashians.

And, like all my other resolutions, I've already broken it. It's difficult to flip past  Newt having a tantrum, or Barack Obama telling the nation, once again he's going to be perfectly clear. Senator Reid is so smarmy and John Boehner so namby-pamby the news is almost as good as an old time movie. Bad guys and good guys, scarlet women and do-gooders, the clock ticking down to the only logical ending...except who knows what that might be. The hero rushes in at the end to save the day, and THAT, my dear, is US, the voters. It's like one of those 'choose our own ending' books for kids. And if we don't like the ending, it's our own fault!

It's gonna be a looong year!

Virginia Walters lives in Kenai.


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