The Campaign

You are about to enter the “Jus’ Us Folks” zone.  That is, the silly season in American politics.  The campaign. When candidates who do not live the way you live, fake it. They go to elaborate ends to show you they live like you do. They do stuff to show you they are “Jus’ Us Folks.”

This is why Michelle Obama and Joe Biden’s wife showed up at a NASCAR event.Why they jus’ love auto racing. They wouldn’t miss a match. Or a bout. Or an inning of it. Whatever.

This is why you will see a candidate bowling. (“Now, these holes are for what?  And how do I throw it?”)

You will see candidates chowin’ down on burgers and fries. In the South they will prop their elbows on the table and “Pass dem grits, Mama.”

You will see them knockin’ back a few brews. With the guys.You will see their wives shopping at Walmart. (“This is what? You call it a checkout counter? I’ve heard about those.”)

Recently we had photos of our President and the UK’s Prime Minister flippin’ ribs on the barbeque. They had just slipped out of their suits, rolled up their sleeves. Still had their ties on. (“Do you think the Euro will collapse?  Is there any hope for Greece? Will Israel attack Iran? Hey, will you pass my finger-lickin’ barbeque sauce. I made it myself from my granny’s recipe.”)



They must feel like idjuts. Can you imagine the discussions that go on when their advisors plan these silly photo-ops? Should we have the President drink straight from the beer bottle? Or would a mug be better?  Should he wipe the foam from his lips with his sleeve? Maybe that would be over the top. Hey, he could spit! No, that’ll turn off the women’s vote. How about scratch his backside? All the jocks do that. When they are cookin’ the hamburgers, should they wear aprons? Sure. A little bit of frill on the aprons, but not too much. We want the gay vote without turning off too many of the NASCAR types.

Please note: These big-time leaders have not led a life like yours in years. If ever. JFK did not even know what cash was. (Long before the days of credit cards.) He never carried any money. From when he was a kid he always had an assistant who picked up all the tabs. Can you imagine a life in which you never handled money?  You never asked the price of something? Many of our leaders have not been in a supermarket in 40 years. Or a bar. They have not driven cars, carried their own bags (except for the photo-op), cooked their own meals, sat in a doctor’s office. They have not flown commercial. They have not done their own taxes. But they want you to believe they have.

(Maybe you saw the YouTube clip of Dan Rather when he was at CBS. He was preparing for a report from a rooftop somewhere. Spent ten minutes fretting over whether the trench coat should be open, closed, half-open, flapping in the wind, shirt-collar unbuttoned or buttoned, hair blowing, or combed …? He wanted to look really natural.)

We are surprised to learn Al Gore’s house is gigundus. It burns energy like you breathe air. Surprise, Al does not live the way you do. He has several houses. Several. He takes a jet to the football game. He grew up in a hotel. True!  (“That’ nuthin’. Why when I was a kid the room service was terrible. You couldn’t get a milkshake after midnight. And some nights we had to turn down our own beds.”)

We are surprised to learn that when it comes to creating laws that alter our lives, these birds are a bit out of touch.  We should not be surprised.  They ARE out of touch.  They are not even close to knowing what being in touch would be.

I don’t care how many private jets they fly. I don’t care how little they know about how the little people live. I don’t care if they don’t know what’s on television. Or that they don’t know how to tune a radio or fix a flat.

What annoys me is that they endlessly try to convince us they are “Jus’ Us Folks”.  They are just like you and me. “How ‘bout another mug of Dom Perignon, Mr. Barkeep. Use a frosted mug.  That won’t glare in the television lights.”

From Tom ... as in Morgan.                  

For more columns and for Tom’s radio shows and new TV shows (and to write to Tom): tomasinmorgan.com.

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