Category Archives: election

I know, get over it. 'After all, it's only politics"

This was my 12th presidential election and  it took me until Thursday to accept, not the election results but rather, how we got to those results. Inside my discombobulated and foggy muse I know the system we have has worked–again. I know we have re-elected a sitting president–again. It is all “good”, right?  God Bless America, right? So whatever is my problem?

Look, I know we have this cliche that has been embedded in all of our psyches and that cliche is “hey, its politics”. And what does that mean? Does it mean character assassination is permissible? Does it mean lying is allowed?  Does it mean vilifying  a person’s family is justifiable? Apparently, it does and I for one am sick of it.  I am sick to death of the upscale, well educated, articulate campaign reps and biased news pundits  being no better than  soap opera villains going about their business assailing those with whom they disagree with blistering attacks on their character and their families. And PLEASE–don’t tell me “hey, its politics”. That is Machiavellian crap. The truth is this behavior is disgusting and the example we set for the younger generations is deplorable. How many young people, even at the high-school level, have learned during this election season that Governor Mitt Romney is nothing but a lying, thieving, tax-evading, murdering felon who has no qualms whatsoever about ‘pushing granny in a wheelchair’ over a cliff. Why is this vilification done. TO WIN! Hey, I know, “its politics”.

As a catholic I am also befuddled and disheartened  by the Gallup poll taken after the election that showed 52% of Catholics voted for Barack Obama while only 45% voted for Mitt Romney. I am a senior citizen who was  raised catholic and still is.  Never in my entire life have I experienced the Bishops in the United States (The USCCB under Cardinal Timothy Dolan of NY) reaching out and asking their catholic “flock” to vote to save and protect our First Amendment rights. Never have they asked for our support to literally defend the faith we profess to follow. Those rights had never been threatened before. But now they are.  And what happened? 52% to 45% of we  ‘catholics’ turned our bishops down. Why? I have some answers inside myself to that question but they are too painful to deal with right now. Hey, I know, I had better get over it. After all, ” its only politics.”

"A Guy Named Barney" Just a Doorkeeper

The election season has fried my brain.  The pundits, the commentators, the campaign officials, the editorial writers and, of course the candidates. My God, MASSIVE EGOS–everywhere. They are all experts in everything you can think of and they villify each other, name call, besmirch each other and even attack their opponent’s families. It had finally gotten to me. And then you hear this Machiavellian disclaimer, “Hey, that’s politics”. You know what, I have a different word for all of it, “DISGUSTING”. To the Point—–

As a Catholic I decided to check the Catholic Hall of Fame for someone “egoless”. You know them as saints but to me, they are the Catholic Hall of Famers. The best of the best, the creme de le creme. Let me tell you about one of them, a simple man who never aspired to be anything more than a simple priest. His name was Bernard Francis Casey and his family and friends called him Barney. There are many guys like Barney in our Catholic Hall of Fame and they, like Barney, probably never even knew what the word “ego”meant.

Barney was born in Oak Grove, Wisconsin back in 1870. He was the sixth of 16 kids of Irish immigrants. When Barney was a boy he contracted diptheria and it left him with a permanently raspy sounding voice. Barney would never have qualified for American Idol. Barney felt the call to the priesthood but his goal was detoured by jobs in Minnesota and Wisconsin as a lumberjack, a prison guard, a street car operator and a hospital orderly. Barney Casey always did whatever job he had to the best of his ability wanting to serve his God in all things. At the age of 21 he was able to enter St. Francis High School seminary in Milwaukee and spent five years there before being able to move on and join the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. Upon his acceptance he took the name of Solanus after St. Francis Solanus, a 17th century missionary.

Solanus Casey was finally ordained a priest at the age of 33. He had to study extremely hard to reach that goal and when he was finally ordained he was given the title “Sacerdos Simplex” which means “simple priest”and he was not permitted to preach or to hear confessions. He never complained and took joy in being a “simple priest”. Father Solanus Casey’s main job at the monastery where he lived in Detroit was that of “doorkeeper”. Father Casey was probably  the finest doorkeeper that ever lived. He did this for well over 20 years and also became known for his service to the sick and the advice and consultations he would have with visitors. People began attributing cures and other blessings to his interaction with them or others.

So there it is. A man who opened and closed doors for people. A man who had no ego and was happy to serve God in the simplest of ways. He died in 1957. A man who, because miracles have been attributed to his intercession, was declared “Venerable” by Pope John Paul II in 1995. This is the first step toward canonization as a saint. He is the first man born in the USA to be on the road to full sainthood. And all he did was humbly and happily open doors for people and talk to them if they wanted. A Catholic Hall of Famer for sure and quite the contrast to the gaggle of egotists that bombard us daily with their “I think” wisdom. Solanus (Barney) Casey has re-charged me.

For Dems "Sticks & Stones" have become "Clubs & Boulders"

Two weeks ago the catholic hierarchy was being called radical, extreme and ‘out of touch” with the mainstream. Last week Maureen Dowd eviscerated Paul Ryan in her column quoting Tom Morello, of the metal rap band, Rage Against the Machine, who called Paul Ryan  a guy “who is filled with a whole lot of rage”; Rage against women and immigrants and the poor, and gays and even the environment.  Madame Dowd says that beyond the even keeled Ryan mien lurks full-tilt virulence. That’s pretty nasty, mean and virulent stuff Madame Dowd and it came from you, not Paul Ryan.

Then we have the Republican National Convention do its thing in Tampa. Jennifer Granholm, the former governor of Michigan and now a professor at Berkeley, has written that when Paul Ryan accepted the nomination as candidate for Vice-president he “knowingly lied to the American people”. She called Ryan’s acceptance speech “lie-larded”. No big deal, right? After all, its just politics. Apparently the phrase, “its just politics”, seems to be the justification to commit every type of slander know to human kind and to just say things because you have decided to hate people because they disagree with your point of view. I watched the RNC and the commentary coming from the Democratic pundits and news media slowly turned my stomach. The four main words I kept hearing were liars, extremists, radicals, and racists. Then (for me) came the coup-de-grace.

American Pie actor, Jason Biggs, decided that he needed to express his feelings about Paul Ryan and his wife Janna. So he posted the most vile and disgusting sexual references about them on Twitter. He then went on to Twitter about Ann Romney stuff even more vile. “Stick & Stones have now become “Clubs & Boulders”. If that had been done to Michelle Obama or the Biden’s–well, can you imagine the uproar.

I watched the RNC and  I know what I saw and heard. I heard some classy, professional people, people like , Mia Love, Marco Rubio, Condoleeza Rice, Suzanna Martinez and others give fine speeches never once calling any of their opponents names. Certainly, they gave their opposing view points but their was no vitriol. Clint Eastwood, an American icon, to me was hilarious. I have since heard him called disgusting and deplorable. Can anyone remember when we could poke fun at ourselves and love each other at the same time? What ever happened?

Well, I am a registered Independent. I  don’t adhere to any particular party line because I like to think of myself as open to all ideas and vote accordingly. Well, the garbage that has been spewed out by the opponents of Romney & Ryan has made this election for me a no-brainer. We deserve better and our kids and grandkids deserve a better example. Go Romney/Ryan.