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Money is the devil in politics

Programming my own music on YouTube is one the last pleasures a diehard rock n’roll fan has left to look forward to in this topsy-turvy world.

Miguel is fine, but I like my guitar solos, back beats and a signature rock lyric.

Yes, I know I’m dating myself, but Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Beatles, David Bowie, Lou Reed and a few others still really get my blood flowing.

And let us face it, us old farts need to keep our blood flowing.

Everyone grows older if they are lucky, but there are some things from childhood I absolutely refuse to part with until they pull the shroud over my eyes that one last time.

Imagine my consternation then when the Jim Carroll Band’s “People Who Died” is interrupted by a David Blair ad.Blair, who is running for Montgomery County Executive is another rich guy who got in the race because he is made enough money that he believes he’s now qualified to jump into politics, make more money and tell us all how to live our lives.

Blair standing in front of the White House making his pitch was enough to make me gag - particularly since I would just left the White House and gagging is a natural reflex these days when going to Washington, D.C.

Of course, David Trone is also on YouTube these days making a pitch for his ability to lead us in Congress.

His pitch comes with an appeal to his roots on a family farm.

It is not that either one of these men’s pitches are disingenuous ,though they may be, but they are merely annoying.

Reflecting what substitutes for leadership these days - wads of sweaty cash - both men are telling me how great they are at leading, but when they never directly tell what it is they are great at doing when it comes to leading a government.

Business is not government - though President Donald Trump would have you believe otherwise.

Still, George Leventhal’s silly Facebook posts are at least more honest than Trone’s and Blair’s pitches.

Rose Krasnow and Mark Elrich seem like sound statesmen by comparison.

Roger Berliner is still Roger Berliner.

I have the pleasure of knowing most of the people running for county executive and they are fine human beings.

But if today’s politics shows us anything, it is that anyone with enough scratch in their pocket to buy an extra house is busy investing in public office.

Maybe it is they believe they can do a better job than those who have been working in public service all these years.

Or maybe it is a way to feather their own nests.

I am not accusing anyone of anythin, I am merely asking if you are so civic-minded, why did not you start at the grassroots level and learn what it means to work the levers of government rather than coming up to the poker table with a wide grin, big stake and a hearty appetite for attention?

American politics is beset by fools and unscrupulous curs who are more interested in how government can be used to best serve their self-interest.

Gerrymandering districts has divided the voting public. Money lubricates the system and those with a few million in their pockets are more attracted today than it seems at any time in our recent history in running for office.

A reasonable man wants to know why, a cynical man thinks he knows why and I strive to find out why on a daily basis.

We are in the middle of one of the most difficult times ever in the history of our republic.

Our divisive nature is nurtured from the top down via money and gerrymandering.

Mencken’s sobriquet regarding politicians never rang truer: Today we choose our politicians as we buy bootleg whiskey - never knowing what it is we are getting but we are only certain that those who are elected to office are not what they pretend to be.

Further, Mencken said, “of late the fraud has become so gross that the plain people begin to show a great restlessness under it. Like animals in a cage, they trot from one corner to another, endlessly seeking a way out. If the Democrats win one year, it is a pretty sure sign that they will lose the next year . . . an evil circle is formed.”

We have been living in this evil circle since Mencken’s time. It has become a superhighway of money, meanness and shallowness representing itself as critical thought.

I am not telling anyone how to vote, but imploring voters to look beyond commercials and smiles.

At the local level meet the candidates and do the same at the state and federal level when you can.

Stop the evil circle.

 

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