The art of politics


No one can escape it; unless one lives in a cave or the like — or if you don’t own a television.

The impeachment “hearings” in this country have monopolized the airwaves, often forcing elderly and shut-ins to miss their daily programs and for many, their lone source of entertainment and means of escape.

Frankly, I’m glad I work so I don’t have to catch even a mere glimpse of the “proceedings.”

It has come to the point for me that I no longer know who or what to believe when it comes to U.S. politics and politicians; from the top to local affairs.

All of the name-calling and “he said, she said,” testimonies piqued my interest in just what politics means. So I did the old school thing and opened an actual dictionary, not online, but one that has a binding, covers and pages.

For you younger readers, that’s called a book.

Dear old Webster defines “politic” several ways, but a couple jumped off the page: shrewd, crafty, unscrupulous, and prudently or artfully contrived. Sounds about right to me.

In the brief moments I watched the hearings, before my eyes and ears could stand no more, I sensed one common human trait — evil.

I haven’t seen as many evil, and I mean evil, looking faces collected in one arena since I studied the 15th-century Netherlandish painter Hieronymus Bosch, much of whose work concentrated on the sins and moral failings of mankind.

His paintings, particularly “The Garden of Earthly  Delights,” while the type of things a college student would find cool, often depicted the faces of his subjects as grotesque and decadent and ... evil.

I can’t help but think of Bosch’s works when I see far too many of today’s politicians, national and local. Faces filled with hate, greed, the craving for power and money, and deception. It doesn’t matter what party affiliation or what status, there are Bosch-like figures that shake this country to the core.

Excuse the pun, but I guess that’s the “art” of politics.

I don’t know if we’ll ever know the truth in this country about many things, but it’s not all that new. Many politicians have been victimizing the people they were elected to serve for nearly two millennium.

When it comes to politics, I prefer the method of the “Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil,” monkeys. It’s less scary.

© 2019 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing    †    Fall River, Massachusetts