Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Political Circus

Is anyone else wondering about the circus-like atmosphere that has “suddenly” hit American politics?

A headline today said, “Oprah is opening act for Obama.”
John Edwards is slamming Hillary Clinton every chance he gets.
Obama is doing whatever he can to discredit Clinton’s record.
Clinton is responding to Obama in kind.

I repaired to the OED to get my bearings around the word circus.

[L. circus circle, circus, ring, circle.]
1. a. Roman Antiq. A large building, generally oblong or oval, surrounded with rising tiers of seats, for the exhibition of public spectacles, horse or chariot races, and the like.

It’s a circle; that’s all.

In Roman antiquity, a circus was for the exhibition of public spectacles. Well, as we approach the ever-earlier primaries (shall we schedule one in early 2007? Just to beat out every state!) American politics becomes more and more a public spectacle. I, for one, am embarrassed—for the candidates, for our country, for myself.

I find myself wishing that instead of taking the definition from antiquity quite so literally current politicians (those who create policy) would take a page out of mega-entrepreneur P. T. Barnum’s book instead. Remember what he called his circus?

The greatest show on earth.

What could possibly make American politics the greatest show on earth? Well, how’s about these ideas?

Honor. Duty. Honor. Responsibility. Honor. Care. Honor. Freedom. Honor. Courage. Honor. Perseverance. Honor. Faith. Honor. Beauty. Did I say Honor?

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