2021: The year that was not my dog

Last year was a lot of things — sadly, though, very, very few of them were good.

The nation was promised a new beginning, a restored sense of normalcy, a new unity, a lowering of the temperature of cultural squabbles, a new start.

Instead — from inflation to malaise to not knowing how to handle a public health crisis to gas lines to inflation to drooling governmental incompetence to even Iran of all things and on and on — we got a 1970s throwback, and not the good kind like a classic Hartford Whalers jersey.

The entire year was an elaborate bait-and-switch, which can probably be summed up by one classic 1970s movie scene courtesy of The Pink Panther Strikes Again.

Whether by choice (people who voted for Biden) or unwillingly (people who didn't) or for some other even more nefarious reason (insert your opinion of the state of the election system here), the nation has been Clouseauified to the point that even those who excitedly donned the hat, moustache, trench coat, and accent last year seem to have now noticed (just look at the administration's latest approval numbers) that there just might be a problem.

Still, no matter the question being asked, somehow the answer remains "that iz not my dog," and the American people are made to feel hapless for even asking and left impotently angry and baffled and nursing a sore hand by the answer.

So when you happen to hear certain statements from the influencers-that-be, just remember that you are being played by forces that have somehow managed to convince themselves that not only is your entire premise wrong, but you are not even asking the right questions.

  • Cancel culture does not exist — that iz not my dog.
  • Critical Race theory is confined to graduate school — that iz not my dog.
  • Inflation is a good thing — that iz not my dog.
  • Finally, the grown-ups are back in charge — that iz not my dog.
  • The border is secure — that iz not my dog.
  • That new government program is paid for — that iz not my dog.
  • Systemic racism is at the heart of America — that iz not my dog.
  • Even though you are vaccinated, you must continue to mask and quarantine — that iz not my dog.
  • Everything that went wrong in 2021 is Donald Trump's fault — that iz not my dog.
  • Defunding the police will reduce crime — that iz not my dog.

And so on and so on. 

As for the nasty yappy dog, there are far too many replacement candidates to even consider listing them all — one supposes one could start with Anthony Fauci, continue to Chris Cuomo, make a quick stop at Jen Psaki and just keep on going from there until the Rolodex from Hell has been completed.

Twenty twenty-one was so cognitively dissonant that maybe, just maybe, for once, we should take life advice from and even emulate George Costanza when confronted with an utterly inexplicable, world-shattering situation.

Onward and upward, indeed.

Thomas Buckley is the former mayor of Lake Elsinore and a former newspaper reporter.  He is currently the operator of a small communications and planning consultancy and can be reached directly at planbuckley@gmail.com.  You can read more of his work at https://thomas699.substack.com.


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