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"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

...............................................................Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Prairie Weather: Snow Job

Now that the Super Bowl and the Super Tuesday and even Groundhog Day are over, we can start looking forward to spring and the warming season. But there’s still some rough weather to get through.

Rough weather like the folks in Tennessee and Kentucky and five states altogether felt as lives were uprooted, ended, changed forever by horrific tornadoes. It pays to pay attention to the weather warnings when we have them.

Around Prairie Country, we’re bracing for Alberta Clipper, and the likelihood of a weekend blizzard and high winds and… well, we’ve learned it’s practical to carry “winter survival gear” even in town since Fargo decided to go and get sprawly.

There’s a good bit of Groundhog thinking going on these days. That all we have to do is just wait a year and check whether things will be different. That may work for the Democratic-led Congress, but some of us are a mite bit impatient at that. So on Super Tuesday, the numbers were awesome, the lines long, the voices raised.

No, we didn’t decide on a nominee that day, but we did decide that we’re all taking part.

It was nasty cold around here on Tuesday, but the grin on the face of the 80-something white guy walking out of the caucus site into the sunshine with the Obama sign tucked under his arm was a sight to behold.

Prairie Country’s pretty white around here, and it’s not just the knee-deep snow. But the times they are a-changin’, and we welcome new neighbors from the Himalayan foothills to the survivor camps of Sudan to just about any point on the map you can name.

The welcoming heart, the open door may be because around here most of us are mindful that our grandparents came in waves looking for their own opportunities. And those grandparents didn’t arrive with many fancy goods, but their children taught us well…lessons of history, and lessons of learning.

How to cut through the snow and recognize the snow job. We could use more of that these days.

Seems if you’ve got the biggest megaphone or the loftiest perch, you can catapult the propaganda. Or so it’s been. The times there, too, are a-changin’.

This morning Doris Kearns Goodwin chatted on the Imus Show about her Abe Lincoln book, Team of Rivals. Seems Barack Obama has said that book would be close at hand if he were in the Oval Office.

Lincoln, our greatest of presidents, valued the give-and-take of a leadership team that would challenge him. And lived America’s greatest values thereby. Compared to our current president who seems to value only his gut, his bike, his chainsaw, and his yes men. Or his puppeteers.

The contrast is marked.

There’s another noteworthy contrast, too, in Obama’s response to a question posed to candidates about their greatest flaw. While the other candidates spun an overzealous pushing of a self-perceived strength, Obama’s wry confession that he keeps a messy desk rings true.

So as the weather season and the campaign season move forward, read the weather signs. Think about who’s authentic and who’s giving you just another snow job. Because this time, yes, it really does matter. And one vote, your vote, does matter.

Isn’t there something reassuring that a candidate for president keeps a messy desk…and a copy of a biography of Lincoln and his team?

Instead of a blank desk…and My Pet Goat….


Anonymous said...

I didn't know his DESK was blank, too; I thought it was just his mind


Prairie Sunshine said...

yep, the desk, the slate, the mind...