The Rant 

Is it my imagination, or is it a prerequisite this election season for each candidate running for office in the Mid-South to try to be as much of a redneck as is humanly possible? There's the guy running in Arkansas who drives around with groups of hillbilly types yelling, "Get 'er done!" And then there's Tennessee gubernatorial candidate Ron Ramsey's brilliant ad that states, "If Washington doesn't like it, we'll just give 'em the boot!"

If I see that guy on my television screen one more time in his suit and those faux cowboy boots, I think I'm going to puke. Exactly to whom in Washington is he going to give the boot? President Obama? Ron Ramsey, if elected governor of Tennessee, is going to oust him? He is going to get rid of Democratic congressmen and senators? I don't think so. Hey Ron, why don't you give the boot to Tennessee's BP stations, gangs, white supremacist groups, and half of the politicians in this state before you march into Washington and take over? And must you always sound like you are doing your best George Wallace impersonation?

Can someone not get out of the fields and away from the trucks and film a commercial at, say, the Peabody or some other nice, elegant place? Or is that too uppity for the Tea Bagger vote?

It is so embarrassing. And I have no problem with farmers and other hard-working people and people who choose to live in the country. I have lots and lots of friends who do. But is this the ONLY image politicians can portray?

I think it's because, sigh, only Republican candidates seem to be running ads. And this is not even a blanket statement. It just happens to be that the ones running for office, especially for governor, think that they have to look and act like loggers to get a vote. It's insulting to many of their own constituents. Most of the Republicans I know are rich and don't butcher the English language. Why do these candidates have to pander to their people by acting like if they get elected we will secede from the nation?

I'm afraid of what's happening in modern society. Now that we finally have an African-American, progressive, brilliant president, it's like the floodgates have opened for the great unwashed to try to undermine him. Suddenly, everybody's got 'em a dad-gum message sayin' we ain't gonna let you Yankee city fellers rurin our country!

And the British think they have it tough with Fergie taking bribes to offer up Prince Andrew to the tabloids. And what a wise move that was. The most fascinating thing about that entire situation is that she receives only $20,000 a year in alimony. WHAT? We are talking about the Royal Family, aren't we? Her wedding probably cost 100 times that much. And she has kids with this dude. This has some Queen Elizabeth stank all over it. She has never liked any of her daughters-in-law, and look at what has happened to them. Come to think of it, maybe Fergie should be glad she's getting the 20 Gs a year and not pushing up Royal roses. But really? She settled for $20,000 a year? Didn't she have some kind of diet-plan television-commercial deal sometime back that paid her a fortune? What is wrong with people?

But I digress. It's a good thing Steve Cohen doesn't wear a cowboy hat. He might be the only candidate this season to run an ad that wouldn't make everyone outside a silo convention cringe. Cohen has shown great taste in the past, and I'm sure he will this time around. He's a good man.

And speaking of good men, I broke my promise to myself to stop reading readers' comments on news sites and it paid off again. I read Geoff Calkins' really moving article in The Commercial Appeal about the funerals of the police officers who were murdered by those nut-jobs in West Memphis, and before I had scrolled down to more than 10 comments, the members of the "club" were on there arguing about whether law enforcement officials should have shaved heads. I am serious. Forget that those families were completely ripped to shreds; these readers seriously cared more about police officers being bald and looking like skinheads. Forget the fact that some of them probably are bald; the readers see officers shaving their heads as a way to intimidate people. Have they ever seen the Dalai Lama? Un-freaking-believable.

In addition to getting us out of this economic mess, stopping the wars we're fighting in the Middle East, figuring out a way for high school graduates to afford college, and putting a stop those "give 'em the boot" ads, I wish the Obama administration would pass some legislation that would force people to get lives. You know, instead of trying to kick up a bunch of dust about something idiotic, volunteer somewhere for a good cause. Take your tea bags and make some tea and take it around to senior citizens on hot days. Do something useful, or someone may just give you the boot.


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