News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion Columns

October 6, 2012

RONN MOTT: Politics 101

Liz Ciancone said the other day, in her column that appears Tuesdays in the Tribune-Star, she is getting very weary of the political scene — commercial after commercial after commercial.

At a gathering recently, a mother introduced her son to the president of the United States and asked the boy, “Do you know who this is?” The little boy said “Yes, that’s the man who says, I approve this message.” Politics has gone the way of manufacturing, that is, don’t worry about the quality, drown the airways in commercials and your product will be sold.

I am amused that during the Republican primary and into the general election, the utterances were about European socialism, as if it were a naughty word. The people uttering this phrase have no idea, not even a germ of an idea, what European socialism really is — because it differs in every country. The Danish idea of government assistance differs greatly from English governmental assistance, and so on. There is a belief by those of the right wing that government assistance is somehow wrong and money-grabbing greed of American capitalism is absolutely perfect. Be careful what you believe. Neither system is perfect.

During the Civil War, the government instituted the personal income tax to help pay for the war. The thought was after the war it wouldn’t be needed. Are you still paying income tax? Perhaps we wouldn’t be paying as much if we stopped telling the rest of the world how they should live, thinking the rest of the world needs to grow up and be nice little Republicans or Democrats … no matter what the given reality.

A neighbor of mine got an e-mail that was willing to show him a picture of the ambassador to Libya being killed and dragged through the streets of Benghazi. Of course, it isn’t true. But you can put anything on the Internet.

Even this effort appears on the Internet, but we write it as opinion even though we try to be as truthful as we can be while developing the facts of the story.

Politicians of all stripes, hues, and varied opinion, are trying to get elected. It’s one of the few places left in the world where you can buy the power that you seek. And it’s quite legal. Someone wrote, “Power corrupts, total power corrupts totally.” I don’t believe that quote to be exact, but America is the only voting nation in the world where the Supreme Court of the land has said a corporation is just like a person and it, the corporation, deserves the same rights as a person.

It’s amazing to me that the founders of the major religions in the world — Jesus of Nazareth, the Prophet Mohammed, Prince Buddha, and Moses of Egypt — most all rejected great wealth and worked and preached against it. And, here in this election year, we find ourselves striving to allow great wealth to rule us.

It’s no damn wonder the average human being is sick and tired of this farce we call electioneering. 

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

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