The egging of the local Republican headquarters along the main drag heading into and out of Aspen is cause for concern. The police described it as an act of vandalism. You wonder how anybody could do such a thing.
Later you find yourself sitting in traffic, crawling stop-and-go by the crime scene. With a bag of groceries in the passenger seat, a carton of eggs on top, it occurs to you that, "hey, it's just an old Halloween prank, anyway," and nostalgia makes you understand how somebody could do such a thing.
For a flicker of a moment you fantasize more than consider rolling down the window and launching one of the fowl projectiles paperboy style over the top of the car toward the man wearing the Uncle Sam hat waving his sign at passersby. The belief that you might actually be able to land a one-timer on top of the hat makes you wish you had a passenger on board to proffer a bet.
But traffic moves, the opportunity is behind and the thought of a delicious omelet makes you glad you didn't waste an egg that would have mostly likely ended up harmlessly splattered on the grass near Uncle Sam's feet. That would hardly be worth a police investigation with you as "a person of interest."
It's weirdly symbolic of what politics has become. Although few will admit it, a lot believe that it should be a crime to agree with the opposing party. The "facts" have become red and blue. The truth is that we are all just different shades of purple. Let's admit it and go have a coffee.
I prefer to think that a drive-by egging of the local Republican headquarters would be an amusing piece of news that might actually draw the community together. The ideal follow-up story should be that sometime during the next night an old tree in front of Democrat headquarters was toilet-
papered beyond recognition. It took firefighters an hour to disentangle a bear that had been asleep in it. A giddy group of Republicans was seen consuming copious amounts of alcoholic beverages and drawing things on cocktail napkins at the Red Onion earlier in the evening.
I mean, really, how personally can we take national election results in which our individual votes count for only five ten-millionths of a percent towards the outcome? Why do we argue with stubborn supporters of the opposing party, testing the elasticity of our forehead veins trying to make them see the light of inviolable truth and wisdom that our party has finally unlocked after all these millions of years of human existence has passed in the quest for it? It's been boiled down to nothing but facts on our side. Finally we know the truth, and the truth is in the extension of the 15 percent capital gains tax. Game over. Eternal happiness assured. It's back to the Garden of Eden for everyone; lots allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
We have plenty of professional spectator sports to argue about already, why did we turn politics into another. The more skilled the quarterback for the other team, the more we hate him. Did I say hate? Yes, we hate him. Sure we're sorry to see him go out of the game writhing in pain, unlikely to return, but we don't shed any tears knowing this might help get us back into it during the second half. We hope for a speedy recovery so he can play against our division rival next Sunday and pummel them for us.
The problem is that as soon as we paint our faces with the team colors, throw a jersey over our regular shirts, and hang a team banner in the bedroom, we lose objectivity. Suddenly it doesn't matter anymore that our team is full of thugs. They're our thugs. If they help us win, yeah for us! If they happen to get traded to the other team next year, we'll despise them forever.
Politics should not be a winner-take-all game. Since our individual ballots don't mean squat in a national election and neither party has even close to all the answers in this gigantic socio-illogical experiment called the United States of America, we should participate because we believe in and celebrate the process of our democracy. If you haven't noticed, that's what keeps things progressing smoothly, and prevents the opposing party leaders from keeping their promises except for the ones that, once in awhile, make sense.
Roger Marolt believes that the
only way to achieve campaign
reform is to appoint a king. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.