What Happened to Will?

Will Rogers in famous vaudeville promotional photo.

Will Rogers in famous vaudeville promotional photo.

Will Rogers who was born in 1879, about the time my Grandfather was born. Although not knowing him personally I think he was one of the finest men ever in this country. He represented everything that we only wish for in social, spiritual and political leaders these days; honesty, integrity, politeness and respect for his fellow man. He certainly lived through times like we are seeing now across the globe, but he never followed the crowd. He somehow remained neutral through times of incredible partisanship that stemmed from the corruption around him.

He made jokes of the very people who were feeding the political fires and got away with it because of who he was. Will Rogers never had harsh words for anyone, but his tongue was politely sharp when it came to setting folks straight. We need Will now.

I rack my brain trying to figure out why putting others down is in favor now and part of some bully pulpit for some. I listened to Donald Trump, a candidate for President calling down a quality female reporter and getting cheers for it as if he were in a boxing ring. You can call the outrage “political correctness” if you want, but I call it barbaric when a Presidential candidate is calling anyone names. After several people were hit and killed by a wayward car driven by an African American in Texas one individual stated he hoped the people killed were “Liberals”. Now we have a young woman, an elected official refusing to obey not only her oath to uphold the Constitution, but she defied a court order thus forcing the judge no choice but to put her in jail for contemp. She is claiming her “Freedom of Religion” as her guiding force when in fact no one is challenging, rather her employment as an elected official, paid for with tax dollars that come from all walks to do her job is the crux of this. We cannot simply choose what we will support of the Constitution. We cannot decide individually what we will and will not obey for laws in this country. Mixed church and state is what our young people are dying fighting against right now in the Middle East. Do we really want that in America?

The political rhetoric is to blame for the bulk of this out of control behavior and sometimes downright hatred. The ones pushing this hate agenda are the ones who will benefit be it more guns sold or more money from the insurance companies in the form of kickbacks; all of us are the losers in the name of greed. We are being talked into not trusting our friends even. A good friend told me they could not talk politics with me because they “are republican”. I grew up Republican, but I must confess my heart is independent, so I guess I am inbred with political thinking? What pray tell do we think democracy is all about? Why aren’t we listening to a variety of information sources and ideas, do folks think they will learn by talking to themselves? It takes both a stallion and a mare to throw a mighty fine colt. We are being bamboozled and for good reason…money.

I am happy to hear Trump talking about all the PAC money that is thrown to politicians by their corporate and individual owners although he himself is certainly not in this for the Presidential wages. I have blogged and commented for a very long time about the amounts of money that is used to buy our politicians. No one is understanding just how far the practice has seeped into our livelihoods through exposure to chemicals that are causing us untold ills, the economy that is rigged for the very rich because it has left us monetarily too poor to fight back, and lastly our pride. We used to have pride in being a country of high moral congressional leadership that led the World. We were proud of our education, our economic stability and fellowship in law and community, but over the last few decades we have let that be chipped away without a shrug.

Will would be aghast at how openly the deceptions are practiced and just how ignorant we are when it comes to seeing what is going on around us. He would be shocked at how little people know about our government and how it works. He must have lived through this kind of thing in the 1800’s and perhaps saw then how easily it can happen, but social media and corporate sponsored media has only heightened the misinformation he could have dreamt of.  This nation used to be so prideful that we invented nearly everything that we use today, but those inventions did not happen without education. Even good old farm kids and their families of which I am one, coveted learning. Reading was taught above all else because it was a vehicle to knowledge and knowledge is power.

As we lose the knowledge our power dwindles and that is happening right before our eyes as I write. People have more access to information than ever, yet they will not verify anything they get in an email forward.  Americans are being told that we should only watch certain media presentations, or read only certain email or websites online. These are not dumb people that are buying into the rhetoric and information that is presented to them. Newspapers existed in every town across this country, large or small, young and old during Will Roger’s lifetime. They were coveted as were books and the education from them was celebrated. Now even textbooks are leaving out historical facts and clouding science. I was always taught to not believe everything I read, but I was also given a standard of common sense by which to interpret the words.

I am missing Will Roger’s guidance and his savvy for calling bull pucky when he ran across it. I miss his whit, his knowledge and his chivalry, but I never knew him I read about him from a reliable source and learned from things he said. He led by example and that is what people loved about him. What happened to his example of living?

“We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others”.

Will Rogers

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