Saturday, April 27, 2013

It seems we are no longer electing the best and the brightest to public office if the public statements made by our representatives are any measure of their competence. Humble origins are not a benchmark for wisdom, nor do grassroots anchor common sense intelligence. Our short attention span, quick-fix, media driven, cheer-for-the-biggest-noise culture are  reaping the ignorance of narrow-minded ideologues resembling the "Know-Nothing" party of the 1850s who were against immigration (we had enough foreigners) and Catholics (Keep the Pope out of America). Sadly, these dopes are a non-partisan disease, but seem to have flocked more intensely to the Republican banner.

We all have to deal with really stupid people in our day to day lives. And it's not their fault that somewhere in their upbringing, certain bricks were not mortared into place and now their walls sag in critical social, moral and intellectual areas. Our problem is with these cripples who walk among us behind a facade that masks the missing bricks and rot. It's only after achieving public office, that their sphincters relax and their inner zombies emerge through media utterances and voting patterns. They are unmasked, but its too late. Like strangling ivy, they coil around their favorite lobbyists and live the dream until they can pass around enough patronage to constituents to merit another term regardless of the damage they create.

Gun control fantasies vs Gun rights bullying are issues perpetuated by the above mentioned trolls. There are too many bricks missing from the wheelhouses of these hard core factions. Each group reads the history of our country through the spectacles of their own agendas, skewing what they find to reflect their own self-serving revision. The most feared concealed weapon of the mid -19th century was the Bowie knife, not the pistol. Most cow towns of the west had gun laws more strict than New York's or Chicago's draconian rules. Newspapers in Elsworth, Kansas decried local law officers for carrying more than one pistol, because they displayed excessive force. The Minute Men and other scrambled-together musket-wielding militias of the late 18th century were unfit for combat and could not hit the ground with their hat. Almost everything the average person has absorbed about the history of firearms is wrong. Most are myths perpetuated by either pro or anti-gun paranoids and romantics.

Until gun rights demanding, over-heated second amendment shouters and the NRA/gun manufacturers PAC/lobby put the country  ahead of their  own self-serving rhetoric -- and the hand-wringing anti-gun  ideologues realize that 300,000,000 guns aren't going anyplace, but under people's beds if the crazies have their way, the next thing to circle the drain will be the Constitution, which is the frail fragment of honor and law that is binding this country together.
My wife, Janet and I are authors of 51 non-fiction books for traditional publishers since 1997. The titles include U.S. history, biography, fine arts, military history, weapons, young adult and memoir. We just finished writing The Constitution, a history of that document and how we have adapted it -- and adapted to it -- since it was penned in 1787 for our London publisher to be released in the U.S. this spring and early summer. We learned a lot during our months of work on that book - especially about the caliber of men and women who used the Constitution and shaped its interpretations to achieve what we have today, what is in danger of loss if the aluminum foil hat people are not turned out and replaced with actual legislators of ability.