The era of the common man (and woman) in national policy and political circles is upon us. And high time, too. Like so many of my fellow Americans, I am disgusted with where the elites of this country have taken our Republic. All these graduates of prestigious universities: Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Penn, Wichita State, et al, elbowing their way into positions of power and influence. These snotty pants think that they know what’s best for the rest of us, ignoring the fact that it was the common man with common sense, launching the occasional native genocide. who made this country great from sea to shining sea. I recall that one of our Founding Fathers even wrote a book called Common Sense. His name escapes me right now but I think he was pretty darn famous.
The elites go around using all kinds of multiple syllable words when smaller words like “uh”, “er”, “ain’t” and “betcha” would work almost as well. I mean seriously, if multiculturalism (six syllables) is so great, don’t you think that the Japanese would have adopted it long ago?
People with common sense, as opposed to the uppity elites, have a better feel for how to run things because their minds are not cluttered with annoying facts and specifics. They don’t have time for “nuance” and therefore can get straight to the obvious solution. Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that “shades of gray” are simply black and white mixed together in a confusing hodge-podge. People with common sense keep their blacks and whites completely separate. Then, when the occasion arises, a decision is easily reached. It’s either black or white, so there. That’s why it is called “common sense”.
A great example of common sense thinking is reflected in comments that my very own congressman, Hank Johnson, expressed during a Capitol Hill military affairs committee meeting. His was not the esoteric and elitist concern for any cultural or political impact on the Guam population, it was for the common sense concern that if the military sent any more troops and equipment to Guam–quite a small Pacific island– that it might “tip over”. Johnson represents greater DeKalb, County Georgia where our slogan is “Erudito Existo Indignus” which loosely translates to “Literacy Is Overrated”.
And what could be more commonsensical than Senate Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle of Nevada suggesting that the press should only ask candidates questions that the candidates want to answer so that the “news is the way we want it to be reported.” Great common sense point, Sharron. Journalism schools throughout the nation are considering curriculum changes as a result of your common sense observation.
This rise of the common man to the national stage is a good thing. One need look no further than the example of the cities, where governance often involves the common folk, to see the wisdom of letting the common man run the show. Los Angeles, Detroit and pre-Katrina New Orleans offer excellent examples of municipalities that are efficient, fiscally responsible and well-managed. I think that’s right or maybe it was Peoria, Rapid City and Walla Walla. We need to bring these kinds of sensibilities to D.C.
And, while I applaud the national common sense political trend, I suggest that we also look to other areas of our society where the elites have for far too long hogged the limelight.
Let’s start with televised sports. I don’t know about you but I’m completely bored with watching young, incredibly buff freaks throwing and catching touchdown passes, setting freestyle records, dunking basketballs, turning the 6-4-3 double play or curving a 35-yard shot into the back of the gooooooaaaaallllllllllll. Let’s get some real people with common talents out there. For sheer entertainment value, wouldn’t it be better to see a 42-year-old, beer-bellied receiver panting unsuccessfully after a weakly-thrown, wounded-duck pass (my personal specialty) only to finally trip on the artificial turf and face-plant, completely winded, 5 yards from the original line of scrimmage? Of course it would because we common folk could relate. We could do that. The common man in all of us (although it shows more in some people) would rejoice in the spectacle. If it is good enough for national leadership, it’s good enough for spectator sports.
And, how about those snooty, I’m-better-than-you, airline pilots. Talk about your elitist club in their snappy little uniforms and all. Frankly, I think it would put the sense of adventure back into flying if, once the seats were full, a flight attendant (“stew” in the good old days) simply pulled a seat number out of a hat and then had that passenger report to the cockpit to take over the left seat. I mean, how hard could it be now that virtually all of the flying is done by computer? This common person could then make all of the usual in-flight announcements….”Welcome aboard, uh, and thanks, er, for flying with uh, me… I mean, us. We will be cruising at, uh, uh,, a really, really high level at, uh, jet-type speed. In the event of an emergency,………uh, oh.” The rest of the passengers could then snicker and point out what a total dweeb old seat 32-C is and feel superior in that common man sort of way.
One elitist group that really would benefit from an influx of commoners with common sense is medicine. Fact is that damn few actual doctors know the first thing about effective home remedies. They turn up their collective noses at homeopathic, common sense treatments such as leeches, mustard plasters, finger nail polish on chigger bites and coffee enemas. I say, give a few million regular men and women lab coats, stethoscopes, beepers and prescription-writing power and we could solve our “doctor shortage” in short order. You may be skeptical but believe me, with a subscription to Web-MD plus their innate common sense, America’s non-elite, pseudo-doctors could have a real impact. Of course not just anyone would be able to become one of this new breed of medical provider, each would be selected based on their resemblance to an actual TV doctor. This is to insure that their patients have confidence that these “doctors” know what they are doing. This seems to work at the national political level where folks like Rick Perry and Mitt Romney “look presidential” and are considered qualified as a result.
And finally, the entertainment field could really use a dose of common-ness to leaven the elite nature of this closed fraternity. We need ukeleles and tambourines in the symphony to replace the uppity cello and French horn players. We long to hear more of those singers from American Idol who are so awful as to be entertaining. We want the guy from accounting who tells pun-filled knock-knock jokes to host the Oscars. The Cirque du Soliel should randomly select audience members to mount the high-wire with a jump rope just to see what happens (this would, however, no longer be considered a “kid-friendly” show).
Surely, there are other examples of where a bit of common sense and “real-world” sensibilities could moderate the suffocating elitism that has taken over many of America’s professional practices, but especially in political and policy circles. The next time I am having a beer down at the Neon Angel, I’m going to encourage Old Blevins to run for national office. You simply can’t get more common than Old Blevins. He’s the one who sits on the third stool from the end and mutters to anyone within earshot, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, damned hippies, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah……blah!” At the very least he would make a great Majority Whip.
Observoid of the Day: The steadiest job in Heaven is giving harp lessons.