The Circus Is In Town!
Let the kids out of school early, take the afternoon off. The circus is in town! People line Main Street for the big parade. The band is playing, the jugglers are juggling, clowns are everywhere. Elephants, caged lions and gorillas, pretty ladies in skimpy, glittering costumes, guys dressed like Uncle Sam on ten-foot stilts. There’s the Fat Lady, the Bearded Lady, the Tattoed Man, the Pin-head. What a glorious spectacle! Those were the days, alright. The circus ain’t what it used to be, but it’s still here. Just turn on the TV and watch the Republican debates.
Who needs the Alligator Girl or the Pig Boy? You’ve got Rick Perry, the Human Flame-thrower – – “Social Security is a giant Ponzi scheme, a monstrous lie! Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is committing treason! Then there’s Mitt Romney, the World’s Greatest Contortionist – – he can twist himself into any political position. Over there is Herman Cain, biting the head off a live chicken. Michele Bachmann is God-Lady, speaking in tongues. At least it seems she is, since everything coming out of her mouth is gibberish. There’s Jon Huntsman (who?), the Incredible, Amazing, Moderate Republican. Isn’t that fantastic! And over here is Newt Gingrich, the Windy Man, who, with one breath, can fill a giant balloon with hot air! Yes Sir, folks, it’s the Greatest Show On Earth!
In this circus, though, the clowns are in the audience. I’m not indulging in hyper-bole, here. Exhibit A – In the debate at the Ronald Reagan Library on Sep. 7th, Texas Governor Rick Perry was asked about his modern record of 234 executions of death row inmates (cheers and applause), and whether he ever wondered if any of them were innocent. Having said he had no regrets, more cheers and applause. Then Exhibit B – – the debate Sep. 12th in Tampa, FL. It was co-hosted by CNN and the Tea Party Express – – talk about a circus act! Wolf Blitzer was the Ringmaster. Ron Paul, a libertarian, was given a hypothetical about a 30 year-old man with a good job who chose not to get health insurance, then ended up in a coma. What should happen to him? Paul, who is an MD, pretty much said the man made his own decision. “Are you saying that society should just let him die?” “Yeah!” came cries from the audience, along with cheers and applause. Because, you see, in both these cases the audience is made up of pro-lifers.
Clowns in the audience, along with carnival geeks and assorted human-animal hybrids. In the old days, you used to have to drive to the outskirts of town, then pay good money to go into the Big Top to see freaks like these. Now you can get them on basic cable. In between debates, of course, there’s always Fox News; they send in the clowns every day.