#48 – The Dogs Get Depressed
An episode of Lewis Black’s Rantcast
Since the founding of the Republican party in the mid-1850s, politics has been dominated by a two-party system that clearly isn’t working too well anymore. Third parties have been tried before, from Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party to Strom Thurmond’s Dixiecrats to Ross Perot’s Reform party to current incarnations like the Libertarian Party and the Green Party. None have achieved much lasting electoral success. So, given the current state of American politics, the time may now be right for the Rubber Chicken Party. The RCP has one platform: empathy for the citizenry. While many human elected officials seem to only have empathy for corporations, a legislative branch of rubber chickens will definitely have more compassion for the people, and will be better equipped to represent the voters rather than multinational corporations. Never mind a chicken in every pot, it’s time for a rubber chicken in every seat in Congress! (As an aside, it was not Huey Long, or Herbert Hoover who first said, “a chicken in every pot”. At his coronation in 1589, French King Henry IV vowed that he would make the peasants of France so prosperous that each would, “have a chicken in his pot on Sunday.”)
Our elected leaders could also take an empathy lesson from the search dogs at the site of the collapsed Champlain Towers South in Surfside, FL. Many have become depressed because after long hours of searching, they are not finding living people. If we can’t wait for the advent of the RCP, the least we could do is send our Representatives and Senators (and some Governors too) to Florida to take lessons on how to act with empathy, with reverence for the humanity in all our fellow humans. The alternative is more weeks where the cascade of news brings stories like the Supreme Court celebrating Independence Day by making it harder for people to vote and Bill Cosby getting out of prison. We could take a lesson from the Germans, who, while also pulling their troops out of Afghanistan, have prioritized removing all of their alcohol before a single soldier returns home. This is a move that is both culturally sensitive and eminently practical. If we can learn from other humans, maybe we will get more stories like the fact that the name Karen has plummeted in the baby name rankings. And that’s having empathy for your child, which is a good place to start.
The pandemic has broken many things about our society and as we emerge from its ravages, we are all acting a little strange. For instance, your host has taken to watching soccer as he needs the distraction and dreams of a European Vacation. And if the rants this week are any indication, the ability to handle interpersonal communications has greatly diminished. As such, we have submissions about working in customer escalations, calling customer support, doctors who don’t keep their appointments, and dealing with government bureaucracy. Plus, a rant about how living in Switzerland has made one ex-pat want to simultaneously be a capitalist and kill all the capitalists. It’s a great summation of the paradox of our times.
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