I honestly hate pugnacious pundits. Self styled experts who scream and grimace as if their gesticulations alone, will hammer home their educated opinions as fact. Blessing us with enlightenment because they think we are trapped in varied states of non compos mentis. These “Super Gurus” cajole or congratulate the current Bush administration on its successes or failures, laughing haughtily at the inane possibility that Bush could be wrong or even right. It really depends on who is being interviewed at the time. These cantankerous critics sparkle on camera. They are clean shaven, well dressed, make-up laden, finished off with blindingly white smiles. Their faces are animated and they look particularly unstressed. Not really the kind of people I want the truth from.
The most accurate opinion given without experiencing hardship is from talking to the people “living the condition.” If you want to know the state of affairs in New Orleans, don’t listen to Mayor Nagin or the self promotional professor who has written a single book on the failed levees of the Big Easy. Pick up the phone and call one of the shelters and talk to someone there. But not to be bias, drive down(because some places still don’t have phone service a year later) and find some one who is fighting alligators, water moccasins, nervous rabbits hiding from alligators and West Nile tainted mosquitoes, trying to repair their home after a year with zero assistance (remembering assistance isn’t always monetary!)
If you truly want to know about the condition of things in Iraq or Afghanistan, ask a Soldier, Sailor, Airmen or Marine. Or even join the armed forces (I have a friend who did just that at 32!) I once stood in line at a grocery store and watched a combat veteran disassemble a patriotic wannabe in 30 seconds flat without blinking an eye. Part of the conversation went like this,
“So how were things over there?”
“Hot and dangerous” the veteran’s words were sharp and quick. “Well, if I was there," The fat wannabe held up his arms to simulate firing a rifle. "I’d have my mini-14 with my Bushnell scope taking out rag heads like POW!”
The veteran smiled and asked, “What color are their uniforms?” This drew a confused stare from the wannabe, “I don’t know…” he replied.
“So you would be shooting at everyone…right?” At that moment the veteran was physically standing in the grocery store but mentally on the street in the Anbar Province. The wannabe left hurriedly.
Then again there are people that know the truth but can’t tell you: the President, all the President’s cabinet members, and people in the middle of all current events. They really know “The skinny,” but they just can’t tell the general public because some of you… and you know who you are CAN’T TAKE IT! I honestly keep waiting for that Presidential press conference where the Commander-in-Chief steps out from behind the podium, unloosens his tie, takes a deep breath and starts his sentence like this, “Ok you bitches here’s the truth…” You can see it on his face, he wants to say something to every critic, blogger and self styled expert who has had their share of finger pointing. But he can’t. He mutters the phrase, “Stay the course” quietly thinking assuredly “Because we have no choice.”