Now Listen Up (ms)

As I write this I’m sitting in a newly opened coffee shop near my house. It was a natural for me as I’ve spent much time in my career visiting coffee shops, diners and donut counters and this is another in a long line.

Coffee shops and the aforementioned other places are always interesting for if you want to know what people are thinking, what’s important to them, then you come to places like this. One need not eavesdrop, all one need do, really, is listen. Some teenagers are considering weekend plans, two ladies are discussing family, two college students just left after a lengthy discussion of music. Tis the stuff of life. The places I visit are really small slices of the world as it really exists; no hype, no production, no cameras. Makes me wonder why our politicians don’t do the same as I do, as many of us do. Perhaps they might learn what America is really thinking instead of imagining it based on reports from other people near them, other people who likewise seldom if ever frequent coffee shops.

When the flood waters came through a few weeks ago the politicians followed in their wake. I believe I mentioned here how odd most of them looked — no ties, sleeves rolled up, the better actors among them wore jeans though there was nary a spot of dirt to be found on them. I suppose the belief is the working man uniform they wear makes the electorate believe they are one of us and that they can truly relate to those facing piles of their accumulated treasures and every day necessities piled up on the tree lawn waiting to be taken to a landfill. Hardly. In fairness I did find one state representative working in the flood area, he was dirty so I could tell.

See, the problem is that if you don’t do as that one guy did or as I am doing right now, you never really know what’s going on. Nor does it count to go to such places with a full entourage of public relations people and news media in tow. No, what it requires is for politicians to go for a coffee or a donut incognito. They can do this because its safe to say not many folks would know their elected officials if they tripped over them. We only get to renew acquaintances around election time so its easy to forget what they look like. A monthly excursion would do, I think.

Our elected people would then be able to return to their respective plush chairs replete with staff to serve them and expense accounts to pay for much of what they need, with health care assured and immunity to the cares we ordinary people must face with a better understanding of those they are supposed to serve. They might even be able to vote more intelligently for things we all need instead of what the Party wants.

Good idea if I do say so myself. I would even be willing to buy the coffee.

–Mike Stevens

~ by admin on November 23, 2011.

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