I may now officially be an “old fart.” Not because of my age, although I’m knocking on the door of being eligible for Medicare and eight years older than my “old lady” who is in her mid-fifties (sorry, honey, I couldn’t resist). I feel great. I exercise regularly. I don’t have an excessive amount of aches and pains. I don’t get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom any more than I had to when I was twenty years younger.
No, what has made me an old fart is whenever I think of the country’s current state of politics, I find myself repeating phrases I swore I would never say. You know, the ones we heard from old farts when we were young and full of optimism:
“The country is going down the toilet.”
“They’re all a bunch of crooks.”
“I don’t like any of the candidates.”
“I may not even vote this year.”
I’m sure you get what I’m saying. You’ve heard them, too. Well, I have found those types of phrases creeping into my vocabulary. Only mine tend to lean towards something like, “Any time that much money is being donated by private interest groups, the people getting elected are no longer representing you and me.” Sounds so much more sophisticated than the aforementioned lines, doesn’t it?
Despite political sophistication, or lack thereof, I don’t like hearing myself spewing such venom. Neither does Helen (my old lady). After several reminders of how jaded I’ve become, Helen may just have me convinced that I need an attitude adjustment. And here’s why.
Even though there have been Presidents, Members of Congress, Governors, State Legislators, County Commissioners, members of City Council, and members of student council when I was in third grade who were elected even though I did not vote for them (the guy in third grade beat me out by a narrow margin (I’m sure he really was a crook!)), I happen to like my country, state, county, and city. They’ve all fared pretty well despite less than 100% of my favored candidates being elected. Hence, I’m not planning on moving out of the country no matter who is elected – R, D, or I.
So this year, I’m making a vow to myself in an attempt to leave old fartdom behind. It goes something like this: no matter who wins, no matter how many candidates I vote for that end up riding the loser train to oblivion, I promise not to say, “This country is going down the toilet.” At least, not out loud to anybody, especially my old lady.