How much longer can the American people be silenced?
If you're from the Southeastern United States, you are very familiar with hushpuppies, and I mean the food, not the shoe. If you're not, they are a blob of cornbread dough about the size of your thumb that has been deep-fried to a golden brown. They are delicious. Tradition tells us they were often used by Southern farmers as snacks thrown to their dogs to keep them quiet while sitting down to supper. Thus the name hushpuppy.
Politicians, it would seem, have developed their own breed of hushpuppy, thrown at their constituency to keep them (us) quiet while they sit at their tables and divide up the spoils from their charade of pretending to care about the same things we do. Theirs isn't fried; it's raw. Theirs isn't delicious, it's bitter and revolting. But, it seems to still do the job, namely, to keep us at bay and hushed. And, this political hushpuppy comes in two flavors; hearings and investigations.
Over and over, we are assaulted with what seems to be blatant criminal behavior of politicians, their family members, or their cronies. (The word "friends" is too soft to use here.) They make edicts, mandates, laws, regulations, codes of ethics, and even off-handed commentaries relating to proper "thought etiquette" and virtue-signaling, by which we are expected to live. Their claim is that these are by which we are all to live. Yet they do not seem to be able to remember them when applied to themselves. Like a steal from a Steve Martin routine (when you make a million dollars, don't pay any taxes on it, and the IRS comes calling, simply say, "I forgot!"), they claim they made a mistake. They didn't understand their own rules. They never saw anything in their own misdeeds as relating to the law. Oops!
The crowds begin to burble and boil. They foment. They protest. They demand. They march on Washington, by golly! They have speakers and celebrities out the wazoo! They spend millions on creating specialized crowds, supporting those crowds, and buying bigger crowds. They post in every nook and cranny of social media. They do interviews on sympathetic networks. They pontificate, warn, and threaten! And the politicians feel their pain of injustice and dismay. But what is a politician to do? "I know!" they cry. "We'll hold hearings!"
And with each passing day, week, month, the crowd withers and wanes. The puppies have been hushed. No one is indicted. No one is kicked out of office. No one is imprisoned. No one loses any of his ill gotten gains. The apple cart remains aright. And all goes back to business as usual.
Year after year, election after election, the public is brought to a fever pitch over issues that were supposedly fixed in dark backrooms. Every cycle, it's as predictable as the run up to a Super Bowl. There are warnings from the last cycle. There are smart has-beens giving their take on how this will be different. There are public officials of every stripe and polka dot telling us that they're on it, don't worry. Then we have our game. Some win, some lose, but in this case, the game's been rigged. In every new event we come to find that the rules never apply to the players. The referees are all in on the fix. They argue and pitch a fit for the cameras, then they hold hands and go have a few beers at their favorite watering hole on Mount Olympus.
One day, the puppies will not be hushed anymore. We will hear them howl. And some will feel their bite.
Image by Pxhere.