Monday, May 17, 2010

At the Heart of American Politics is -- the Barbershop!

At the Heart of American Politics is -- the Barbershop!
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

In my small North Carolina community, when you really want to know what’s going on, if you really want to take the pulse of local, state and national politics, you go to the local barbershop.

For me, a trip to my local barbershop is a stimulating, invigorating, experience. I just climb up into the chair and allow the conversation to wash over me, and occasionally, I toss a few tidbits of my own into the steady stream of political commentary that is almost always well informed, politically incorrect, and surprisingly candid and -- quite accurate.

I have often wondered why politicians, who need to be plugged into the thought processes of their constituents, do not deliberately visit barbershops in their districts and really learn what is on the minds of their constituents. If there is one single place where politicians can learn how their constituents feel -- on any issue -- it is the local barbershop. The barbershop is the one place they can visit and get an education, quickly.

My most recent visit to my own barbershop revealed the open disgust with which my neighbors hold the Obama Regime and the current Congress. What was somewhat surprising was the depth of that disgust. It was as though they spat out the name of the President and the names of certain members of Congress, as one would expectorate something that had a horrible taste. The disdain in which my neighbors hold the Obama Regime is bone deep. They cannot wait for the election in November to send our national leaders a clear and concise message. Simply stated the message is: “Be gone!”

It is not only disgust and disdain, it is anger — deep, swirling, writhing, white-hot anger -- at the way the current Congress and the Obama Administration have dragged our country from the pinnacle of world leadership to the depths of humiliation and mediocrity. Their disbelief in American Exceptionalism lends credence to the average American’s belief that our current leadership simply does not like America.

What was once a creeping realization that we now have a socialist government in America has sped up and blossomed into an epiphany, of a sort. My neighbors now understand that with the passage of ObamaCare America joined the ranks of the pitiful socialist countries “circling the drain” all over the planet.

The old fashion neighborhood barbershop is one of the last locales to which men can retire -- and just be men. They discuss hunting, fishing, sports, cars, war, and politics. Of course, they discuss other things, which we will not mention because this is a family column. For the past few months politics has been the reigning topic of discussion above all others.

On my most recent visit to by barbershop the topic of discussion was, as usual politics. Someone raised the question of whom the Republicans would nominate to run for President in 2012. It is interesting that no one present felt that any one of the “usual suspects” would be acceptable to the GOP voters. In fact, the general feeling was that the nomination of any of those involved in past campaigns would simply lead to another four years of Obama as President. That included both Palin and Romney. In fact, it was agreed that Palin was damaged beyond repair and was now unacceptable as a candidate on a national GOP ticket. Not one participant in the discussion could offer the name of a single republican with a snowball’s chance in Hades of winning against Obama in 2012.

It was a telling moment. What it said to this scribe was this: the GOP had better begin a search for a candidate the republican voters will support. If they do not, then the GOP should be prepared for their base to stay home, again, on Election Day.

The conservative wing of the GOP has decided they will no longer “settle” for a candidate who cannot prove his/her conservative credentials. They will no longer vote for the “lesser of two evils.” They will no longer settle for another RINO candidate. If that means losing to the democrats, then so be it. It is not considered a “purity test” of any kind. The Mainstream Media should understand that out here in the hinterlands, honesty with oneself and one’s neighbor is STILL considered a virtue -- AND a matter of personal honor.

The RNC and the DNC could learn a lot from the customers at my barbershop -- if they were willing to learn. The trouble is, I believe, the GOP is now being controlled (as is the Democratic Party) by a group of “elites” who feel they know better than the rank and file electorate. In the case of the RNC -- the plain truth is – they don’t.

If the GOP is really serious about retaking this nation’s government from the socialists, then they need to visit my barbershop and listen. Then put to use what they learn.

In the meantime, I’m not holding my breath.

J. D. Longstreet

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