'Weight' of world seems unusually heavy this year

Tom Kirvan
Legal News, Editor-in-Chief

Several weeks ago, while visiting a friend in the hospital, I happened upon an info-mercial for cosmetic surgery, specifically liposuction for those dogged by unwanted pounds in prominent places.

Statistics revealed that nearly 300,000 men and women opted for the surgery over the past year, giving greater weight to the theory that “the fat is in your head.”

According to the infomercial, the most popular liposuction procedures performed on women were in the area of the thighs, abdomen, and buttocks. On men, it was “love handles” and the “tummy tuck” that proved to be the primary focus of attention. A spokesman for the pound-shedding procedures noted that the number of patients in their twenties electing the surgery has risen dramatically over the past few years.

“The thinking is: why wait until you’re 40? If you need it at 25, that’s 15 years less you’ll have to endure excess fat in ‘problem’ areas,” the spokesman reasoned.

Such rationale long ago gained a foothold in America’s political posture.

The appeal of a “quick fix” is standard political fare, especially in an election year. America’s yearning for easy answers to taxing questions is the fodder that feeds a run-of-the-mill candidate machine. The evidence that we have slipped into a “World without Heroes” is particularly compelling during an off-election year when next year’s crop of candidates may be lacking in all areas but one: a grasp of the understanding that political expediency is the link to whether you live to dance another day.

Some 20 months before what figures to be another bizarre presidential election, would-be candidates are floating their campaign trial balloons in hopes of catching the prevailing political wind for 2020. The incessant string of presidential primaries and caucuses, while designed to flush out the finest of ideas and the firmest of candidates, have done little more than to provide comic relief in an otherwise Olympic year of champions. Again, for the vast majority of citizens, campaigns do not function so much to change political minds as to reinforce previous convictions.

And unless you are a diehard believer in the tenets of democracy, the tendency come election time will be to watch with bewilderment, as attention is centered on off-hour theatrics rather than practical proposals for curing what ails America. Of course, political hijinks and personal foibles make for much more interesting reading than talk of trillion-dollar budgets, climate change, the hapless plight of the homeless, and the sky-high cost of prescription medicines for the elderly.

In the meantime, rest assured that come election day – November 3, 2020 – America will hold fast to the belief that he or she who offers the least stands to be the best, particularly in an era when campaigns are forever framed in catchy sound bites.


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