Tyrades! By Danny Tyree
Did you greet the news with horror, stoic resignation or yawns?
I speak of the Gallup Poll (conducted between June 5 and 8) that reveals confidence in the presidency at the lowest point since the financial crisis at the tail end of the Bush administration and confidence in Congress and the Supreme Court at the LOWEST LEVELS EVER.
Perhaps you join the Gallup organization in getting all bent out of shape about the findings; but it's hard for me to get too worked up about survey results when a large percentage of the people pontificating on our system of checks and balances probably think the three branches of government are "the executive, the legislative and the Santa Maria."
For voters with a long view of history, this poll is hardly "man bites dog" news; Americans have NEVER been thrilled with their government. An early Gallup poll, taken shortly after the first Thanksgiving dinner, revealed Puritans grousing, "I'll bet we landed at Plymouth Rock because someone got a kickback from Plymouth Hard Rock Cafe!"
Other than pollster job security, I'm not sure why we even track the ups and downs of these surveys. I can understand the political value of polls showing the trending of the public mood on specific "hot button" issues (they let politicians adjust their lies...er, tailor their message); but I don't' see what earthly good comes from regular updates on a generalized feeling about the three branches. ("What? 93 percent of people are upset with Congress? Not just 92? Suddenly I don't feel so alone anymore. I'll tear up my suicide note. Young punk EMTs probably couldn't read it anyway. Oh no — I wonder how my lack of confidence in the younger generation compares with...")
Perhaps it's because our leaders are all in similar situations ("Ha ha! You're grounded, too!"), but they never seem to make many substantial changes based on the approval ratings. Honestly, other than the boring old tactic of carrying out their duties faithfully, what COULD they do to keep the public happy?
How could we possibly restore confidence in the office of the presidency? Reduce the State of the Union address to 140 characters and replace the narcissistic "Hail To The Chief" with Bill Withers' soulful "Lean On Me"?
What could bring greater trust in Congress? Maybe we could hire the "Game of Thrones" writers to offer some suggestions about "term limits". Or we could appeal to soccer fans by letting referees add EXTRA MINUTES to filibusters. ("Will the distinguished gentleman from North Carolina please yield the floor—and return the dentures I left in his neck when I bit him?")
Is there anything that could redeem the image of the Supreme Court? Perhaps the blindfolded Justice statue could obtain a service dog and digital scales. And henceforth "split decisions" could involve ruminating over the penumbras of the Fourth Amendment and finding a constitutional right to government-funded delicious DQ banana splits!
The editorial board of the "Los Angeles Daily News" was actually heartened by the latest poll results, lauding the public's skepticism, feistiness and "sensitive BS meter." They assured the masses that "the nation will always survive its leaders."
True — UNLESS we have a maverick justice announcing, "We declared corporations to be people, so maybe NUCLEAR LAUNCH CODES are people, too. People who want to be loved and needed and caressed....Yeeee-haaaaa!"
©2014 Danny Tyree. Danny welcomes reader e-mail responses at [email protected] and visits to his Facebook fan page "Tyree's Tyrades". Danny's' weekly column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate.