August 9, 2012

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Today I shed a tear for the integrity of our nation. Seems that most of us are so stupid that we vote for our elected officials based on their morality and “opinions” of our Constitution rather than their ability for objective thinking, reasoning and accountability. And with this election year sucking a little more from our already too shallow gene pool, Canada is looking a little more like the promised land.

It’s not just the voters who are the problem. The issue starts with the candidates. Most are power-hungry wanna-be’s who were likely beaten up for their lunch money a little too often on the playground. We have a few of those around here. Some are so gung-ho about being elected that they blindly vote party politics without question. I think if the Pachyderm Club asked its members to jump off the Walnut Street Bridge, Chuck Fleischmann would be the first one to show off his jack knife.

The problem is that candidates who would be good for the job don’t want the job. For successful businessmen and great thinkers, the pay sucks, the hours are long and the criticism is bitter and frequent. We are very lucky in our region to have a pretty good track record of elected officials. Kinsey and Corker were awesome mayors (the latter currently a great senator) who really didn’t need the hassle of the job to pay their bills. They did it for the good of the city. To me, those are true public servants. Scottie Mayfield is that sort of guy it seems, and I know Andy Berke is.

As far as voter intelligence goes, first I blame Walmart. As if we weren’t lazy enough, Americans need go no further than the closest “has it all” to get literally everything we need to live—from Q-tips and Pop Tarts to guns and oil changes. Despite the company’s strong-arm vendor tactics, including wholesale price demands that lead to substandard versions of the original products we trust—and the fact their low prices literally choke out locally owned competition—most are too lazy to think outside of the big box.  

The average American is also too lazy to see the “forest” (true party politics that actually affect their taxes and ability to earn a decent living) for the “trees” (emotion-fueled morality issues such as guns, God and gays). It always amazes me to see a lower-income Republican fiercely support their candidate based on the fact that they’ll be able to keep their handgun and never see two queers get hitched when that same politician’s agenda also includes taking away a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body and eliminating government programs that improve that voter’s quality of life.

It’s ignorance like this that really boiled my blood on “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.” Concocted purely as a business tactic to offset lost sales since chain’s president offered his views on same-sex marriage, this day leveled the scope (so to speak) on those who vote with their brains and those who vote with their Bible.

All day long I had to endure Facebook pictures of people—including Fleischmann—holding up their lunch and making comments about how they support the sale of chicken sandwiches (riddled with hormones, preservatives and loads of chemicals) just because they personally believe in Adam & Eve and not Adam & Steve.

I realize that Chick-fil-A’s moral stance and business practices don’t necessarily have anything to do with politics (right), but it was a little ironic that Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day happened the day before Republican primaries in five states, including Tennessee. To me, taking a stance on moral, political and social issues as a company is just plain bad business. Then again whether or not you participated yesterday, I bet you—like me—are craving Chick-fil-A just about now. Just don’t drink the Kool-Aid.

Chuck Crowder is a local writer and general man about town. His opinions are his own.


August 9, 2012

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