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Terry Dickson: Decoding the things politicians say

Posted: April 30, 2014 - 6:11pm

BRUNSWICK | It had been a pretty good spring. It was cooler than some springs past, we’ve had a lot of rain and we got the news that this could be a quiet hurricane season.

Then they had to go and spoil it Monday. That’s when a few polls opened for early voting for the May 20 primary elections, so off we go.

The robo calls have been going quite awhile. Some woman has called several times with a Southern accent that makes Paula Deen sound like she grew up in Bahston and went to Hahvahd.

I love Southern accents. I have one myself, but this one is too much.

Let me say something here in praise of U-verse. When the phone rings, the caller’s identity and number show up on the TV screen. I don’t even have to run to the phone anymore to check the caller ID before going back to golf, “Duck Dynasty” or “Seinfeld” reruns, or in the best-case scenario, sleep. The latter usually occurs when I try to watch baseball.

Politicians are the salt of the earth. But some days the studies say salt will kill you and the next day there’s a study that says you need more.

Political priorities change the same way.

Not long ago politicians were jockeying to be the absolute toughest on crime. They came up with the three-strikes rule: if you get three convictions of some offenses, you go to prison for life.

That filled up the prisons and we had to pay to feed all the convicts.

The answer was criminal justice reform, in other words getting soft on crime. You’ve got to steal a heck of a lot now for it to be a felony in Georgia.

The thing that drives me nuts is politicians all say the same things. Allow me to interpret:

“Government should be run more like a business.”

Really? So should we start skipping payments, let the bank repossess the courthouse and declare bankruptcy? That way we can start over with a clean slate and buy a new government-financed SUV to drive into the ditch.

“I’ll take it to the next level.’’

Next time you get on an elevator, check out the buttons. Some go up, some down. Down can be another level.

“I believe in zero tolerance.”

Politicians insist they believe in zero tolerance on a lot of issues. There’s one place, however, where they really tolerate zeroes. Start with a campaign contribution of $100 and keep adding zeroes until you top out with at least five figures.

“I promise I’ll keep fighting for the little people, the hardworking Americans and their families.”

First of all, they’ve never been in a real fight. All they’ve ever done is talk, and that’s all they’ll ever do. And who are the little people? The Munchkins from “The Wizard of Oz?”

“I’ll stand up to the special interests.’’

A special interest is whatever the people believe in on the other side of the aisle. All my interests are special to me. You can make the case that food stamps are a special interest for the grocery lobby.

The worst thing is, we haven’t finished the 2014 elections and we’re already talking about 2016. It never ends. It’s almost as bad as the NFL draft.

terry.dickson@jacksonville.com,
(912) 264-0405

 
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