One Conservative Estimate

Conservative Views for Concerned Americans

Monday, July 13, 2009

Is it cynical in here or is it just me?

Once upon a time in a land not too far away you could pretty much trust most anything that was told to you. People actually preferred trust and pleasantries and found disdain in the opposite. I can hear mom saying to me that if I had nothing nice to say about someone then I should say nothing at all. Mom is not alive these days and I am thinking even she might find herself speechless if she were.

Back when, people took great pride in what they said and many a deal was made with only the spoken word and a handshake to seal it. Phrases like “my word is good” and “he is good for it” and “I’ll be right back” were taken at face value: nothing more, nothing less. I think things began to change about the time my uncle Louey went out for a quart of milk and wasn’t heard from for 20 years.

It was about then that President Nixon was elected and within a few years we began to really learn how not to trust people. To be sure, politicians’ words were taken with equal measures of cynicism and hope, with hope being the operative word in casual conversation. Still it is my firm impression that former president Nixon could be credited with the blooming of the modern age of skepticism.

Well of course Nixon appointed Ford as VP who then pardoned Nixon, and then Jimmy came along with that peculiar family of his. Although I don’t think folks thought Jimmy didn’t mean well. I think they just thought him unable to deliver. Ronald Regan seemed honest enough and just about the time folks began to trust again we heard things like “read my lips” and “I never had sexual relations with that woman”. Of late I have heard “change you can believe in”.

It seems that it is not enough to just play fast and loose with the truth but it has become some sort of art form to see whom you can shame with your word. Whole careers are made for people to come up with clever ways to say things. They call it spin. Mom would have called it something else and would’ve washed their mouths out with soap.

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