Artisan by Dan Joyce
Politics is a venomous snake. We all mean well, but our best intentions never seem to get accomplished. For example, let’s say you are a minority of racial ethnicity and you want to campaign for a better understanding of your differences and equalities. What with the Dallas shootings, the Black Lives Matter movement, Trumps attacks on undocumented immigrants, the stereotypes of terrorist Muslims, you feel that addressing this heated issue may sound too controversial. So you devise a slogan and campaign much more generally positive to mask your cause then ease in slowly address the issue. You campaign for “Everybody being happy and getting along.” You share this with your friends at the coffeehouse, at the church, the gym, the school and of course social media. Everybody is excited about being happy and getting along! You even speak on your great cause at City Hall and local political events. But then, a cranky guy comes along. “NO! I don’t think everybody can be and get along! And how do you intend to accomplish this? How much wasteful government money do you intend to spend making everybody happy and getting along? After all, you can’t force people to be happy and get along. It’s unconstitutional!” Suddenly, you realize you have some holes in your theory. You come up with some ideas – positive thinking courses, meditation, hot yoga, encourage sharing and nice compliments to each other… But Mr. Cranky doesn’t like the sound of any of it! He’s running for mayor in this upcoming election and he’s leading in the polls. “You can’t just claim to make everybody happy and get along. It’s impossible!” So he starts to attack you. “Your not really happy and I can state several case with witnesses where you didn’t get along with anyone!” He attends fundraisers telling terrible jokes making fun of you. Your supporters now can’t stand him! You realize the only way to put for your agenda is to run for mayor yourself. You invest a lot of money into campaigning with fancy dinners and big signs about being happy and getting along. But Cranky spends three times as much and is friends with all the rich and important people in town who endorse him. So your guys make a public attack on his crankiness with videos of him yelling at the waiter at Denny’s, his teenage son following in his footstep and beating people up at school and photos of babies refusing to kiss him. Questionable facts arise about Mr. Cranky on social media. Cranky threatens a lawsuit for libel. Embarrassing and degrading information gets thrown back at you publicly. He even claims that as an adolescent male you took drugs and tried to get an abortion. Mud gets slung back and forth. Then, in a rally for happiness, Cranky’s guys and your guys get into a big brawl. The whole town is outraged! Something as simple as everybody being happy and getting along turns into something really ugly! I don’t have to explain who actually wins in this election, but that either way nobody ends up happy and nobody gets along. A serious issue is lost.