Yesterday I spent a bit more time than usual, watching the changing of the guard in the U.S. House of Representatives. Yesterday was women’s day on capitol hill and, as House Speaker designate Nancy Pelosi noted, it will be during this Congress – the 116th – that the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage in the United States will be celebrated in 2020.
I happen to be partial towards Speaker Pelosi, as a leader and as a person. Part of this might be that she’s about one month older than I. The real reason is she has more than proven her mettle as a leader and as a negotiator over the years. She will do very well as leader of the people’s house, the U.S. House of Representatives.
Of course, her very strengths are the reasons that she is scorned: an object of derision (which in her case is a mark of the respect she has earned over a long career). She is a force to be reckoned with.
This day I have been thinking about other companion images related to our nations transition of power in this day of winner take all politics.
The best I could do was to remember the innocent days of “professional” wrestling, where horses of humanity like “Gorgeous George” and Hulk Hogan and their infinite variations assumed vicious and intimidating pre-match poses presumably to scare their opponent half to death before the first body slam of the day. It was good theater, back in the day. Heroes and villains. Today it has been refined, but the old days had more authenticity, shall I say.
In today’s world, handlers of politicians and other set about the task of preening their anointed product or person, and destroying the opponent. The process is almost surgically precise…and convincing.
And we judges of performance of our lawmakers choose the news media that in turn pick and choose the one or two minutes to define individuals or parties. It takes no time whatever to notice selection bias at work. It has happened already in the first 24 hours of the new Congress.
It is a wonder that our system works at all.
Back in the day, Gorgeous George and Hulk Hogan and so many others stood nose to nose with their adversary in their most intimidating poses. For we rubes, there was at least the theoretical possibility that one of the wrasslers might actually go after his adversary in person, mano a mano.
We could use more authenticity in todays politics. I hope we see some of it in the coming months and years.
it’s long overdue. You are a crucial part of the solution to a serious problem.
PS: Some years ago I heard a most captivating talk by native American veteran Jim Northrup, whose service included boots on the ground service in the harshest days of Vietnam.
In his remarks, which you can view here if you wish (relevant video starts at about 12 minutes.) Northrup recalled the day that Hollywood tough guy John Wayne helicoptered into the field base at which he was stationed. Of course, Wayne was a real Hollywood ‘star’, and the GIs were duly impressed. Somebody suggested to Wayne that perhaps he might want to join a patrol as part of his visit. Wayne quickly demurred, leaving the task. he said, to “the professionals”. Wayne’s choice was very logical. He had the luxury of making the choice.
PS II – A reader asks, “How are you?”
The surgery was a month ago, Dec. 4, thence 17 days in hospital – a long spell – since Dec. 21 at home. I think I am doing reasonably well. I walk under my own power, without walker, cane or other kind of assistance. The longest distance thus far is about s city block. The stroke, which was very much a concerning matter, seems to have had little residual effect, as assessed by occupational therapy earlier today. Only in last few days have I really felt the appetite to do the kinds of things I used to like to do every day. But I am now spending a couple of hours out each day. I try to be realistic. Things could be much worse.
from Fred: Re Nancy P: Your comments align well with my feelings about her. She got things done as Speaker when it came to passing difficult legislation. But Madam Speaker now faces a Trump rubber-stamp leading the senate, and loyal “Yes sirs!” from Trump Party followers. Sorry GOPers, it’s The Donald’s organization now, RIP Republican Party.