Over the years, I’ve written about a lot of things on these pages, some of which have been viewed as quite controversial. In fact, there was a stretch where many of those topics stirred up so many negative comments from readers it was suggested that the name of the “Rant and Rave” be changed to the “Randy and Rave.”
What I am about to write today isn’t meant to be controversial. I am not pointing fingers or saying that what I am about to point out is wrong or that anyone in particular is to blame. It is what it is.
But, that being said, what it is bothers me.
Think about this. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about homemade biscuits. I love homemade biscuits and felt that it was time to give them some respect as being a part of a loving home arrangement. I even suggested that sopping a biscuit might just be the secret to happiness. All totaled, it probably took me about an hour to write.
I cannot tell you how many people commented about my biscuit column. Comments were sent to me on Facebook and through emails literally from across the world, people going on and on about how much truth they found in those words about biscuits, how they were sharing them with all of their friends and thanking me profusely for writing the piece.
Then last week, I wrote about the American concept of “The Pursuit of Happiness” and how that cornerstone of our national conscience had been dumbed down to being simply having a cell phone, cable and food in the fridge. I literally spent a month worrying about each and every word in it, trying to make the point that we were totally shortchanging ourselves and our nation’s future by re-defining that important term. I fully expected a huge outpouring of both positive and negative responses.
Then on top of that, one of the most respected men I know in in our community wrote some very strong and clearly heartfelt words about how he sees our nation being on a path of rebellion against the very government that is supposed to be in place to protect us. I read his words with great interest and thought to myself, “He’s opened it up now for sure.”
The result of both stirring diatribes plunging patriotic daggers into the hearts of our readers? One comment. A nice one, mind you — but one, lone, solitary comment.
And it was apparently from Texas, no less.
I find myself stepping back and looking at this in a “big picture” mode and cannot help but wonder if those columns – designed to make us Americans take a very serious inventory of where we are individually and collectively at and done so from the heart — rang hollow because they missed their target or if perhaps because people are starting to throw their hands up and simply are giving up.
Now you can disagree with me on that if you choose, but when you look at an average of less than 30 percent of registered voters regularly taking the time to put the stinking remote down and get off their La-Z-Boys to actually go vote in the good ol’ USA, can you honestly say the majority of Americans really, truly care anymore? I don’t know that I can.
Then again, maybe it is because of our disgust with politics and the games played on all sides in Washington, D.C., that something like homemade biscuits is made that much more appealing. Perhaps people are simply weary of all of it, and just enjoyed being taken away on a light, warm, fluffy cloud of self-rising flour, shortening and buttermilk sopped in butter and down home cane syrup.
Or, perhaps, maybe the biscuits are just plain more interesting than our national condition. Either way, it’s hard not to raise an eyebrow a little.
I’ve learned over time that it seems the only topics that truly stir up a hornets’ nest of emotion any more are religion, the War for Southern Independence, taxes and sexuality (not necessarily in that order). Sure, there are other topics that folks will respond to, but if you really want to create a covey of comments flying just hit on any of those.
However, I remember not too many years ago people thinking they could make a difference in this place we call home. They were proud to be Americans, and not above letting you know as much.
I really fear that we, meaning the people of this nation, are reaching a point where we may be just “over it.” We are over all of the bickering, all of the scandals, all of the gridlock, all of the polarization, all of the extreme left and extreme right, all of the finger-pointing, back-stabbing, double-talking double-standard lower-than-a-snake-in-a-well monkey business we’ve simply come to expect from those who are shaping the political landscape of America.
Basically, it just may be we really are finally sick and tired of being sick and tired of it all.
I guess all I can do is hope that something will come along who will be able to invigorate us, unite us, excite us about being who we are. Otherwise, homemade biscuits might very well be the only thing we’ll have to look forward to.