I was tired of it quite a while ago, but it’s going to go on (only getting worse) until the November elections, when discord takes a ten-second intermission before the workup for the next round of cacophony. (How wonderfully apt that caca and phony unite politically.) I’m sick to death of Obama hatred (not that he’s so great) and of Romney revulsion (not that he’s so great either). But we’re going to have them served up boiled, fried, roasted, scrambled, and spitted for months to come until the politics of puree and dicing are satisfied grinding the pap we’re supposed to favor. At times, the shrill relentless babble of democracy could make one long for the blessed peace of a ruthless dictator, though then we’d only trade howls of outrage in the day for screams of torture in the night. Like it or not, political annoyance is preferable to partisan persecution.

I have conservative friends who lecture me on the evils of big government. They are firm positive all would be far better if handled on a smaller-scale local level. What planet have they lived on all these years? Have they never heard the names of certain states and municipalities where corruption and insider dealing is a requirement for office? Going by local politics along the shore, I’d say small size guarantees you nothing. More than once the workings of the county had me believing they were intent on a golden medal in an idiot Olympiad. The worthies have been led to conclude the county needs a community center. Best place for this is the county seat, roughly midway along our 150-mile strip of Highway 61. In a basic sort of way, that’s reasonable, but not the least bit practical if you live 60 miles to one side. In any case, a new community center would replace the existing one, which I’ve been watching lately to count cars in its lot. I’ve seldom had to use a second hand for the tally. And yet with the evidence right there on a daily basis, the leadership is convinced a new center is a must, this in a small town with enough church basements, school gyms, and etc. to more than suffice. How many meetings, gatherings, celebrations, and confabs do we have to hold to satisfy this imaginary ideal?

There’s got to be something better in life than building enlarged community centers to host meetings most prefer to dodge with the same ardent avoidance devoted to grade school pageants, unless you’re a grandparent or parent. So much space for future meetings looks like a bad omen to me. What good can come of such a thing?  When is the last time you went away from a meeting feeling happy and fulfilled? Now maybe it’s so that public meetings and gatherings are a lot more rewarding than I give them credit for, but I’m inclined to think in terms of defense with cloves of garlic, silver bullets, and such to ward off the evils of too much society.

Large scale or small, self-government can be perplexing and difficult. On balance I have to put up with government while it has to put up with the likes of me raising objection. Actually, I broke a longstanding silence over the community center plan by posting a letter in the local paper. I’d bit my tongue long enough and could no longer hold in my appreciation for being lied to so politely about our need for civic improvement. I was trying to be nice and show I recognized the value of quality deception and flimflam. People in government have sometimes found my attention annoying. A good number of neighbors have a similar opinion, but if all they get is annoyed, I have to tell them they’re getting off lightly. Annoying is pretty much my mild side.

It’s difficult not to annoy when so much annoyance is so generously dispersed by others, especially in politics. I doubt I’m alone feeling annoyed by specious (means the same damn thing as “idiotic” but sounds more polite and lets you get further into the insult before the idiot is aware — see how that works) argument.

Take for example Romney’s running mate being all self-convinced over the evils of collective bargaining. I fail to grasp there being any value for employees not being able to group negotiate wages, conditions, or benefits. But there is surely an advantage going to the employer side with take-it-or-leave-it, a.k.a. right-to-work. Does the number-two man on a ticket actually believe a living wage that allows a worker some discretionary spending is a problem? Making decent wages is not a national problem anywhere near as significant as exporting jobs and the massive transfer of our national wealth to oil and cheap labor meccas.

To me (and who knows, I could be wrong about this, as I am about needing another community center in the middle of nowhere), it seems that brushing American workers with disloyalty for wanting decent pay begs the question of asking the same of employers. Who is being deceitful and disloyal when the term “free market” is simply a cover for substandard wages in countries where safety and environmental protection are out the window because there is no collective bargaining to ensure those things for workers or for their nation?

A nation isn’t great, didn’t become so and won’t remain so, if it abandons its internal loyalties, where work is respected and workers respect companies that behave responsibly. The era of great U.S. prosperity and accomplishment did not come about because one side abused the other. No system is ever perfect, but you can be sure of a highly imperfect system when standard procedure measures loyalty by the minute, and responsibility is set aside for profit. The true work and worth of politics is to put us together as a people, not concentrate on pulling us apart over money and defining the worth of a citizen in terms of cash.