Re: “Taking the High Road”

I was fortunate enough to turn 52 recently.  Thank you.  My wife and I were in Montreal on that day, as lovely and seductive a city as I’ve seen in my life (photos forthcoming).  Walking around in the Old City, I all but forgot we were still in North America at all; it felt almost more like Italy than France but that didn’t matter—the amazing, simply amazing architecture was enough by itself to charm anybody.  Also, I loved fnally seeing Olympic Stadium, the Dome, the people obviously happy for a clear day. 

Birthdays are good times to make an accounting of one’s life.  I was thinking that day about the Sirota piece below and wondered about whether I’d still do something reckless like heckle David Horowitz.  ‘Fraid so, folks.  On television I see mealy-mounted centrists posing as Leftists sharing the same stage with the Cheneys, Pat Buchanan (and what must he have thought about Obama’s visit to Buchenwald, eh?), Joe Scarborough (who for some reason hasn’t yet been laughed out of the TV business—alligator skin, no doubt), et al.  I wait for someone—anyone—to call these people to account and make sure they don’t get away.  Leftists should remember the example of Jesse Ventura; say what you will about his views, but when he makes a point, damn it you know the man’s serious.  And could quite legitimately hurt you, too.  Now, I do not advise violence under any circumstances.  Gandhi was right.  But in argument, Gandhi was a bulldog, and so is Ventura.  I admire that—they grab onto an opponent and do not let go.   

The American Left has too few bulldogs, people unwilling to concede, prepared instead to overwhelm by force of reason and logic.  Lawrence O’Donnell and Jonathan Turley are capable, but on the Left there must be more folks who’ll make their feelings public, and counterbalance the Buchanans, etc., of the political world.  One problem is that people like Dennis Kucinich are hopelessly marginalized, by the US press and a long-term, concerted effort on the part of the Right to put him there and keep him there.  Admittedly, Kucinich has done and said certain things over a long career that frankly haven’t helped a damn bit. 

We need more bulldogs.  These lifelong liars on the Right deserve to hear our scorn and contempt.  It should ring in their ears 24/7; and every time they open their mouths on TV and let more lies out, every word needs a counter, every point a refutation that utterly closes them down.  However, as we know, the American media is anything but Left-leaning, another lie the Rightists love to spout, knowing all the time their very presence screams.  And yet they don’t get it. 

At this point, there is no more “high road.”  That’s gone to hell, too.  Personally, I think it came down the day Gore conceded to Bush in ’00 and the Repubs called anyone who argued the Florida recount “sore losers,” which of course also gave us the “Sore/Loserman” bumper stickers we all had to put up with for so damn long.  That “we’ve taken over, now shut the hell up” attitude was the decisive factor.  At least, it was to me.  However, a lot of us wanted to feel they were above all that.  It’s too late now.  We aren’t.  We’re all in the mud together, like it or not, and it’s time to jam these lies back down the liars’ throats.

Just wear gloves.  You don’t want that on your hands….


About johnwylam1957

I'm a poet and teacher now living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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