Another election has come and gone, and as usual there were few surprises. As I watched the results on television, I pondered if anything would change, or would there be more of the same disappointment that has come to be associated with elected leadership. I wondered if the newly elected people had the political savvy and commitment to make a difference both locally and in Washington, but what I truly hoped and prayed for was that at least a few of them had common sense. Common sense in the political arena is a commodity that sometimes falls in short supply, so anyone elected with a little sound unbiased judgment would be a welcomed addition to the political scene. Granddaddy Floyd and my friend, Dr. Earl Jubilee Wilson (Dr. Juby as he preferred to be called) were men of common sense. They believed politicians were likely decent people with honorable convictions who were plagued by questionable politics, and as a result, their convictions and political actions did not always align with one another. Both men agreed that when it came to elections, all anyone could do was pray, and even then it did little good to have high hopes.
When it came to politics, Granddaddy Floyd and Dr. Juby loved to share their opinions through observations they respectively called Rubber Monkeys and Precepts. Although Dr. Juby’s Precepts may have had a somewhat more scholarly footprint than Rubber Monkeys, the two were basically the same – observations or musings intended to provide insight or influence on a specific topic such as politics. Each man had an uncanny ability to sum up almost any topic in a few concise words that often gave a voice to what those around them were thinking or believed. Therefore, as I began writing this piece, I realized there was little I could add about elections or politics that they had not already said much more succinctly. For example, Granddaddy Floyd always said, “Instead of looking to politics for guidance and answers, we should be trusting in God and common sense for guidance and answers.” Dr. Juby echoed those sentiments when he said, “God didn’t entrust chickens with brains, and he didn’t waste common sense on politicians.” Not exactly rocket science, yet wise words spoken by men who loved God, family, and country.
The Political Rubber Monkeys and Precepts of Granddaddy Floyd and Dr. Juby
- The road to getting elected in the South is through the pulpit. Granddaddy Floyd
- If the truth offends you, you may be a politician. Lack of familiarity often offends. Dr. Juby
- The average six year old often displays more common sense than the majority of elected officials. Many politicians would rather poop in the sand box than share with the other party. Granddaddy Floyd
- Politics are filled with personal and party agendas; the agenda of the people is at best always on the back burner. Dr. Juby
- Politicians spend ten percent of their time doing what they were elected to do and ninety percent of their time trying to figure out who they need to please next to get reelected or to be in line for a lucrative appointment. Granddaddy Floyd
- Seems lately the party (Democratic or Republican) is a hell of a lot more important than the issues, what is right or wrong, or how we can fix America. Dr. Juby
- Political victory in the South often boils down to the candidate who best beats the bushes in the name of Jesus, the second amendment, cornbread, and wrestling. Granddaddy Floyd
- When you refuse to listen to or work with a man because he is labeled a Democrat or Republican, there is something seriously wrong with the system. Dr. Juby
- I have never understood how it is the epitome of patriotism for young men to give their lives to ensure American freedoms such as free speech, but it is unpatriotic to use that blood stained freedom to speak freely against the loss of young lives in the name of wars run by politicians, old men and corporations. Granddaddy Floyd
- The first thing I’d do if I was president is turn off the lights in Washington and send everyone home until such time they can agree to put their selfish agendas aside and play productively together. Dr. Juby
- The politics of the South are often conceived and Baptized between the pews, on the steps, and in the parking lot of the church house. Granddaddy Floyd
- When party platforms become sacred cows above compromise and the best interests of the people, the party system has outlived its usefulness to the people and should be abolished. Dr. Juby
Truly these are the observations of wise men. Whether or not you agree with Granddaddy Floyd and Dr. Juby, their words ring with truth. Like the great American patriot, Patrick Henry, they were suspicious of politicians, especially those who ignored or compromised the rights and liberties of common men. Patriots such as Henry, envisioned elections as a protection and means to purge the political system from the hypocrisy of those elected officials who failed to embrace the common good of the people. Unfortunately, today’s elections rarely provide such protection. Today’s elections are more in tune with decaying party politics than the common good of the people. As a result instead of regularly purging our political system as the founders of this nation intended, votes are more likely to be cast for the party than for the common good of all people. Consequently, little ever changes from election to election, and parties grow stronger and stronger while moving further and further away from the people.
©Jack Linton, November 9, 2014