Friday, October 9, 2009

The Common Man

The common man. What happened to him? Where did he go? Is he only in Steinbeck novels or Copeland fanfares. Is he relegated to fictional characters and musical compositions? Was O. E. Rolvaag wrong in the epistolary tale of, “Giants of the Earth” where the common man was sacred and personified in stories of immigrant’s survival and success?

We have forgotten, in our modern technological agglutinations to honor, to praise and to emulate the common man. Somehow we’ve been conditioned to only respect and elect the specialist.

Where did the common man go? Did he disappear within the Utopian future we are always seeking, but never achieve? Is he only alive in fictional characters elevated to real-life greatness by the imagination of fine authors?

Have the entitlement mores of our current social and political structure diminished the values, ethic, and desire for the return of the American common man?

I don’t have the answers to all my questions, but I do have some thoughts.

Our Congress used to be peopled by common folk, but when elitism, effete intellectualism and professional politicians rejected common sense and embraced partisan bickering, the common man disappeared into history and was replaced by special interests, and power seekers.

When was the last time you talked to your Representative or Senator and sensed that he or she didn’t feel they belonged in Congress because they were special, experienced, and the only one who could do the job? That’s not a common person, that’s a professional politician. The common man says anyone can do it and invites you to participate in your democracy.

If you have not lost the commonality of what is right, just and fair and still maintain the value of polite rhetoric and courteous compromise, I’ve got news for you. You could do the job, probably better than most in congress right now.

Most of us are not looking to sustain our position in life, as re-election requires of our representatives. We are looking to sustain our lives as best we can in an economy and political condition over which we have lost control.

We have given up our intellectual rights to shouting pundits and argumentative talk-show hosts. When was the last time you really checked out a derogatory email before you forwarded it to your friends?

Another problem in this great country is that we have become a society of expectant receivers, rather than relying on personal responsibility, ingenuity, innovation and hard work for our individual welfare.

A majority of the men who pledged their fortunes and lives to envision a United States of America were farmers, merchants and tradesmen. They were the common man. They were the visionaries of America. Find me a few of these in Congress today and I’ll support them with shouts of praise and adorn them with accolades and ribbons.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Could it be that a true visionary is one who simply lives his vision?

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