I am ever amazed when politicians, on both sides of the aisle, accuse each other of “playing politics,” as John McCain did this week, calling out his fellow candidates for the Republican nomination. Just what exactly do they imagine they’re doing for a living? And yet the accusation flies at least once a week, usually in front of a gaggle of reporters who are hungrily jotting down every word so they can ask the targets for their reaction. Apparently, once you get elected, you lose your sense of irony, although I suppose a strong argument could be made for political types not having much of one in the first place.
I shouldn’t be too surprised. Even back in high school, when I was the content editor for my school newspaper, the Editor-in-Chief (interestingly, the school’s most vocal and obnoxious Republican, a guy who wore orange every St. Patrick’s Day just to make a point that his classmates were destined to miss, so he told them–loudly) told me that I shouldn’t be so picky when editing stories. Did I mention he was a Republican?
When I was a teacher, the teachers who were coaches (or probably more accurately, the coaches who happened to teach) often gave teachers who weren’t going to give the star players a pass when they were failing required courses just so they’d be eligible to play a hard time for being too hard on the kids, and that academics wasn’t all school was about.
People gripe when their doctors give them medical advice they don’t like, like quit smoking and lose 20 pounds. They cry at the gym when their personal trainers, whom they pay $50 an hour, “make” them lift weights. And I can only be baffled as to why they were confused about what they were getting. Politicians will politic, editors will edit, teachers will teach, doctors will dispense medical advice, trainers will make you sweat, dogs will bark, cats will meow, and George Hamilton will tan. It’s the nature of the respective beasts, and clearly stated in the brochure, is it not? Yet some people still are surprised. And I can’t figure out why. In any case, I’m not sure we need to worry about English-only laws anymore; nobody here speaks it anyway.