Dick Maynard Column October 22, 2008

What happens after the election? Not much, really

Hey lighten up. It’s only a presidential election. Sure, for some, it’s life or death. I feel the same way about the Broncos.

“Oh c’mon,” argue the faithful, “This is the future of our country, not some piddly football game.” Political wonks are so “filled with the spirit” this time of year that nothing else matters.

What’s the difference between an individual so into political candidates they’re moved to tears being in the same hall as the standard bearer and a teenager bawling her way through a Brittney Spears concert? Age.

Based on sixty-nine years of walking Planet Earth, I’m sure this country will come out of its current malaise only to prosper and then go through the same type of cataclysmic event in the future. History repeats.

It’s why I’m comfortable saying, economic high tide or low, wars, energy crisis or balanced budgets, whoever is elected to office will do nothing more than point fingers at the opposition rather than address issues. In the body politic, TV face time, be it network, cable or holding Congressional hearings where nothing is accomplished, is decidedly more important than coming to grips with energy shortfalls, health care or economic crisis.

We’ve been down this road before. Remember our valley in the early 1980s? I do. Broke on my butt.

People sporting bumper stickers exclaiming, “Lord, grant me one more boom and I promise not to piss it away.”

Name the elected officials who pulled us out of that one? You can’t. It was locals, folks living here, not in Denver or D.C., hunkering down, spending less, recruiting new businesses to our valley and eventually getting our Western Slope economy back on track with the rest of the country.

We survived those dark days and we’ll survive the bloviating gasbags of Congress today, no matter who heads up the next administration.

Am I cynical? Absolutely. Way back in 1948, as a nine year old, I heard my dad lament, “If Truman is re-elected, this country won’t survive. I didn’t fight my way from Utah Beach to Germany just to have this country go Communist.”

Well Truman won. I was devastated. Being nine and a believer, I expected Russian tanks to roll into Cambridge, Ill., and haul me away to some foreign city like Chicago.

Thank goodness, the Russkies never arrived in the “Land of Lincoln.” My dad was wrong. Every presidential election since, Eisenhower to LBJ, Bubba to the Bush bunch, has been taken with a grain of salt.

If we can get past Jimmy Carter and outlast George Bush, we’ll survive Obama or McCain. It’s what we do.

Caveat emptor on the “change” malarkey. Like Allen Iverson and “practice,” we’re talking politicians.

They’re into pork-filled earmarks, cocktail parties, Sunday morning talk shows and making sure schools and bridges in the district bear their names.

What are they going to change? The tax code? They made it complicated. Legislate against lobbyists?

How about just saying “No.”

Congress goes to any length to avoid making a meaningful decision. Social Security? They don’t participate. Energy crisis? Lengthen Daylight Savings. Health care? Let’s discuss. Economic crisis? Cut everybody a check before Election Day and hope to cover it down the road.

Change? C’mon. After the January inauguration, it’s right back to same-ol, same-ol. The burden will still be on our shoulders. Always has been, always will be. The difference between the Beltway Bozos and us?

We’re up to the task.


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