Political Expression

Photo of Obama & Trump meeting
I have a theory:

As a college-educated man with working-class roots, I am perhaps well poised to perceive a wide spectrum of political perspectives.

To put it another way:

I’m a Blue Collar guy with a college degree, so I can see the whole picture.

That’s the theory. Not the dubious “I’m special” part. The fact that both sentences say the same thing, in very different ways.

The US has had two, perhaps three populist Presidents: Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump, and arguably Bill Clinton. With the rest, we’re used to a type of speech I’m going to call “diplomatic” for purposes of this theory. It’s also scholarly speech, presenting ideas with a subtle acknowledgement that later developments might change things. In the first statement above, the word “perhaps” does it. A similar phrase might be “events suggest.” To the average citizen these may sound wishy-washy or mealy mouthed.

Now, holding “events suggest” side-by-side with Donald Trump’s “some say,” or the more commonplace, man-on-the-street’s “I’ve heard,” I see a similarity.

“Some say” grates on my ears. “Events suggest” grates on other ears. To me, “some say” is vague, with no documentation, inviting a response of “well others say,” which leaves us with “who knows?” (William Perry’s second stage of cognitive development.) To others, “events suggest” is just as vague, drawing a conclusion from hidden sources like a stage magician.

Don’t get me wrong. I still think Donald Trump is a snake-oil salesman born with a silver spoon and never went a day in his life without servants, let alone food and shelter, who managed to dupe common folk into thinking he understands and cares for their plight, while riding a golden escalator and telling them their toilets are hard to flush, but not his.

But I could be mistaken. Similar things could be said of any politician.

In any case, this theory prepares me to more openly listen to him, and to FOX News. Even his Tweets, because they’re not *all* self-congratulatory or insulting. Some are actually positive, affirming, even comforting.

If you listen to the language in a different way.

Liberally Biased Professors

NobleWorksCards.com

“I thank God, we have not free schools nor printing … For learning has brought disobedience, and heresy and sects into the world; and printing has divulged them and libels against the government. God keep us from both!”

~ Sir William Berkeley, (1606-1677) Royal Governor of Virginia

Something I often hear from Conservative family members is that college professors have a Liberal bias.

Ergo higher education has a Liberal bias.

At kindergarten (and pre-kindergarten, and nowadays pre-pre-kindergarten) all the way through high school, we can …

  • Vote for a school board to preserve our Conservative values.
  • Raise a ruckus to enforce prayer in school. (Granted, we can already pray there, just not officially lead prayer.)
  • Apply pressure to let teachers teach from the Bible. (Granted, they can already talk about the importance of the Bible in our culture, along with the Qoran in Arab nations, or the Tao te Ching, or whatever else those godless heathens in other countries read. But we can’t teach directly from the Bible like in those glorious one-room schoolhouses of the 1800s.)

Public schools we can influence. But at college level, education is out of our hands.

Higher education has a Liberal bias. Could that be why college costs so much in our good ol’ U.S.A.? God knows we don’t want to be manufacturing no more uppity Liberals.

Support Our Troops

US flag against white clouds and blue skyMy Great-Uncles Albert, Goldren, Herbert, J.C., and Willis served in World War II. As did my father-in-law, Harvey. My great-grandmother’s cousin spent time as a Japanese prisoner of war.

My stepfather Chuck served during the Korean War. So did Great-Uncle Glen, who fought hand-to-hand there.

My Uncles Don and Bill served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. Second cousins Carlos Irwin, Donald, Gordon, & William were service members then as well.

My brother Steve & I served in the National Guard during peacetime. Our younger brother Randy served full-time Army, mainly in Korea. Our cousin Ritchie is full time. My daughter Christine met her husband Christopher while both were in the Army. He served combat duty in Iraq.

Many of these people have been career service members. And that’s just my side of the family. Jennifer has her own list, running back to World War I.

When I hear, “Support our troops,” I think, “My family is our troops.” When I hear, “I prefer heroes who weren’t captured,” I think, “I prefer politicians who weren’t deferred service.” And when I see veterans homeless, or struggling to get VA benefits, well, you don’t want to know what I’m thinking.