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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sometimes you can't look away

If you're old enough, you probably remember watching Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, starring Marlin Perkins and his long-suffering sidekick,  Jim Fowler. This program introduced violence on TV, albeit animal kingdom violence. Among the most memorable segments featured the insatiable python and the enormous beasts it could swallow whole: deer, cows, even crocodiles. Horrendous as the sights were, they were hypnotic. It was impossible to look away.

That's how I feel during Presidential Debate season. Granted, we've only seen the Republicans so far, but their encounters are as gruesome and mesmerizing as those of python versus croc.  I imagine it's no coincidence that croc is a  homophone for crock, as in "that's a crock of crap." It's also interesting that some of the debaters shed crocodile tears over issues less poignant than a Hallmark commercial. So far, no one has disagreed with the others over anything substantive. They are just generally cranky and like to point fingers.

I really don't understand how we came to this means of selecting a leader. Surely we don't want someone who's merely good at self-defense and nitpicking. My mother used to suggest that, instead of waging war and slaughtering the best members of a generation, leaders of  belligerent countries should have to fight each other in some sort of international arena. They'd engage in mud wrestling, say, pole-vaulting. Then perhaps we'd choose leaders based on a different kind of strength. What do you think?

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