There is always a market for ideologies that justify breaking things, and the idea that outrage is the expression of righteous indignation is powerful fuel for destruction. William (Beau) Weston

 

The other day I took one of those political surveys that populate the internet these days. Doing so, I learned something about myself that surprised me. According to the survey; my political views are Centrist. I always considered myself strongly conservative.

 

Perhaps my Centrist viewpoint is the reason why I resonated so strongly with a blog site I discovered last week. William (Beau) Weston writes a blog called the Gruntled Center. (gruntledcenter.blogspot.com) Mr. Weston calls himself a ‘contented, front porch sitter.’ Yup, that’s me! Living in an often disgruntled world, I never realized that one could make a viable word by simply removing “dis.” I never realized that one could simply be “gruntled.”

 

Come to think of it; the people that ring my telephone these days don’t like my kind very much. According to them, I should be upset, bewildered, dismayed and without hope. It is hard to sell an agenda to a gruntled person. One little lady was asking which political hot button was most important to me. “The things I’m concerned about aren’t on your list,” I told her. “That’s all right,” she replied, “I have another list right here.”

 

I also have a stock broker that keeps calling me. He can’t seem to make any money from me as long as I don’t scurry from one investment to another. The current issue of Popular Science Magazine has an article about someone who wrote a plan to capitalize on the riches abandoned by people who follow the herd instinct. The company I worked at for many years widely distributed a book written by Tom Peters called “Thriving on Chaos.” According to Veggie Tales, it is hard to sell ‘Buzzsaw Louies’ without first planting the idea that some anonymous kid down the street might have ‘more toys’ than you have.

 

About this time of the year, eight years ago, our whole country was letting out one big sigh of relief. Someone had fabricated and propagated the scare of the century. The significant news coming out of the Y2K scare was that manufacturers and sellers of computer equipment didn’t have big enough hands to hide the glee on their faces while they went happily to the bank.

 

This morning I read the seventh chapter of First Kings. This chapter provides the account of the Arameans who heard ‘a noise,’ fled their camp in haste and left behind a vast trove in their wake. We hear a lot of noise as our political process makes yet another cycle. In a democracy, the voting process is a big popularity contest. How will they get me to buy into their ‘fix’ if they can’t first convince me that it is ‘broke.’

 

Kind of reminds me of the story I once heard. Seems that some bloke was on a downtown street corner; jumping up and down, hollering and making an enormous racket. After keeping at it for sometime, someone managed to ask what he was doing. “Scaring the elephants away,” the man replied.

 

“Sir, there are no elephants for hundreds of miles from here.”

 

“Must be doing a pretty good job then, aren’t I?

 

Jonas J. Borntreger

1/13/08

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