It was a few days after the presidential election when I set this one down - little did I know at the time just how long that thing would remain unresolved!

In an increasingly partisan and surreal political climate, it seemed a good and necessary thing to inject a little good old fashioned Common Sense.


Wisdom from the Past


November is, of course, the time when we traditionally turn to Thanksgiving. I've been meaning to stretch this out a little, mostly since one quickly runs out of new Thanksgiving-isms when one is doing this every year, to include Americana in general.

And I have long thought about devoting a column to a particular American.

As it happens, this one was born on November 4, and thus his inclusion seems entirely appropriate.

As it further happens, the current Indecision 2000 election fiasco makes me think of him, for the man I refer to is the great Will Rogers, dead and gone for 65 years now, and the greatest political satirist of the 20th Century.

He found plenty of fodder for his barbs in both the Democrat and Republican camps, as perhaps we ourselves do as I write. He had much to say, and on re-reading some of his quips I'm danged if they're not as relevant today as they were three quarters of a century ago!

I smile as I realize he must be rolling in his grave right now, in light of the current partisan debacle, beseeching the powers that be to let him out to write just one more column . . .

Well, here you go, Will - knock 'em dead.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Will Rogers.

"Washington D.C. papers say, 'Congress is deadlocked and can't act.' I think that is the greatest blessing that could befall this Country."

"We have been staggering along now about [224] years under every conceivable horse-thief that could get into office and yet here we are, still going strong."

"Every time we have an election, we get in worse men and the country keeps right on going. Times have proven only one thing and that is you can't ruin this country ever, with politics."

"Things in our country run in spite of government. Not by aid of it."

"Never blame a legislative body for not doing something. When they do nothing, that don't hurt anybody. When they do something is when they become dangerous."

"On account of our being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only nation in the world that has to keep a government four years, no matter what it does."

"[Congressmen] are the nicest fellows in the world to meet. I sometimes really wonder if they realize the harm they do."

And finally, the most appropriate remark for the current mess, as well as a harbinger of the Holiday Season ahead . . .

"To the Senate and the House, a Merry Christmas. May the literacy test never be applied to your constituents."

Happy Thanksgiving, and I'll see you all in December (or check the printed version available for free at Book Again for a sneak preview)!