COLORADO SPRINGS: Nationally syndicated cartoonist Stephen Pastis often tackles American culture in his popular cartoon strip, “Pearls Before Swine.” His characters write letters to the editor, op-ed articles, even books. “The Adventures of Thinkyman and The Ponderer,” by Pig and Goat might offer instruction for us on America’s current cultural rift.
A man is drowning. He calls out: “Help! Help! My foot is stuck in these rocks and the tide is rising!” Two caped men – Thinkyman and the Ponderer – fly over him. One yells, “Don’t worry! We will save you!!” The other adds, “But first, we will check with the Coastal Commission to determine the feasibility of said act and perhaps hold public hearings!”
Pig concludes, “Sadly, he drowns.” Says Goat, “That darn Coastal Commission.”
Our non-Bereaucratic president
As official Washington contends with an anti-bureaucratic president, one who often declines to take the complex and slow route to problems, their confusion and discomfort grow. One reason is that our government has become one gigantic Thinkyman, with reports, hearings, think tanks, and Ivy Leaguers assuming government power.
They no longer recognize common sense or spontaneity as valid motivations for action. Nor do they trust a president who governs from the seat of his pants. They distrust instinct. But more importantly, they dislike being cut out of the action.
The path to Washington depicted in the iconic film, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” was long ago bulldozed over. No longer may Anyman run for office and bring fresh ideas to long-standing problems.
Donald Trump need not apply. He is not in the club of power players. He gets no credit for his past success; it has been nullified by his real man, common-sensical talk and demeanor.
The likes of Mr. Smith and Mr. Trump are no longer welcome. They are not appropriately imbued with the virtue-signaling, political correctness and slow walking that are now the hallmarks of official Washington.
They don’t deserve power. And those whom they represent – Americans – are castigated and tossed aside, no longer to run this country. The electorate is used only as needed and then discarded. Americans pay for the swank black government Chryslers, congressional junkets, and deluxe trips to Davos where these Thinkymen convene to carve up the world.
But Americans need not attend. Only those with proper I.D. tags may enter.
Over time, Thinkymen have developed many subtle but effective methods to protect their exclusivity. With the advent of Mr. Trump, they have adopted strict codes of behavior to cull others from their midst. Their corrupt behavior notwithstanding, Thinkymen have become moralists, the puritans of the modern age.
They have restricted free speech with “political correctness,” or, “censorship,” as it must rightly be called.
By their new standards of morality, speaking the truth when broaching a problem is problematic. Rather, the status quo must be maintained, even when it’s not working. Especially when it’s not working. “The people” must need Thinkymen to solve their problems. American taxpayers must be assured their leaders are doing everything in their power to come up with civic solutions to problems. They must trust the many earnest promises of Thinkymen.
The recent arguments about the state of Baltimore is a perfect example of Washington power versus common sense.
“Who you gonna believe, me or your lyin’ eyes?”
The president recently tweeted about Baltimore being rat-infested, drug-ridden, and led by corrupt politicians. He rightly asked where all the federal money given to the city to fix these problems has gone. And he has taken on House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings of Baltimore, for the answers.
Pearls Before Swine Thinkymen response and that of Chairman Cummings are indicative of their right of exclusivity as they hold onto power.
Rather than respond intelligently to his questions, they resort to schoolyard taunts: “Trump is a racist.” Apparently, because Baltimore’s civic leadership is mostly black, no one may criticize them or their city. And certainly not Mr. Trump, who came to Washington and must leave as soon as possible.
Yet Chairman Cummings himself referred to his community of Baltimore as a “drug-infested” area in a congressional hearing. He said,
“This morning, I left my community of Baltimore, a drug-infested area where a lot of the drugs we are talking about today have already taken the lives of so many children. The same children that I watched 14 or 15 years ago as they grew up, now walking around like zombies.”
But how dare the leader of the free world upset the apple cart by speaking the truth: “The emperor has no clothes. No human being would want to live there.”
So, the establishment’s Thinkymen Newsweek reporter, Nicole King, to the rescue! Protecting the status quo of their club of omerta, King reported,
“Racists and bullies, from the president of the United States to the guy on the local neighborhood Listserv, have long tried to dehumanize the poor and working-class people who live and work in Baltimore and cities like it.”
Tying the president’s honest observation to his supposed racism, she added,
“It is not an accident that the president attempts to distract us from the inhumane detention of families on the U.S.-Mexico border with social media attacks on Baltimore’s predominantly African-American neighborhoods. These forms of containment come from the same inability to recognize the humanity of people of color.”
So, calling out a city filled with garbage, discarded drug paraphernalia and feces is racism. Seeing a problem Thinkymen have failed to address for years is a direct insult to them and their power.
“The president intentionally tries to dehumanize. His tactics are to distract and present disinformation in the process of blocking transparency, blocking our ability to see the inner workings of exploitation. We need radical transparency from our politicians at all levels.”
Accusing the interloper Trump of racism when he calls out a serious American problem is a ploy to preserve Thinkymens’ power. They and they alone can guide Baltimore’s future. Not some ersatz Mr. Smith.
To repeatedly call the president a racist only shows the depths Thinkymen have plumbed to preserve their power. Identifying problems they’ve failed to address is to spout Republican talking points. To address problems and solve them is to exclude those for whom Washington membership is the be-all and end-all.
As the saying goes,
“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”