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French Fries, Lieberman’s Democracy, and Tomatoes with Marley

Do you remember when the French wouldn’t be our schoolyard bully buddies and the movement for Freedom Fries swept the nation, all the way to Congress?  At the House cafeteria French Fries became Freedom Fries after Representatives enacted an official name change.  What a hoot, right?  Our leaders taking time to play the name calling game!! Well this week they decided that Freedom Fries can be called French Fries again.  No reason was given.  In fact, Bob Ney, leader of the Freedom Fries movement in the House said he was not commenting on the reversal.   I feel better knowing that our leaders can order French Fries again.  I bet it was never easy to walk up to the counter and say, “May I have an order of Freedom Fries with my burger.”  It just sounds stupid, doesn’t it? Let us not forget that it was the Belgians that invented French Fries.  It’s never easy, is it?                                     
Ned Lamont unseated Joe Lieberman in the CT primary for the Democratic Party’s Senate bid.  The three term senator, Lieberman, still has a shot.  He’s going to run in the November election as an Independent.   How’s that for democracy?  I mean, if you look at systemically, it’s a loud ring for Philadelphia’s genius.  Lose your party’s primary, run on your own as a self third party of sorts.   The thinking is that he will pull in his faithful Democrat voters, and pull away some Republican voters, enough to total more than Lamont, the frontrunner going into November.  The Democratic leaders have thrown there apples into Lamont’s basket, as they should, being party politics and all.   Some call Lieberman “Bush’s favorite Democrat.”  His voting seems to fall alongside Bush’s agenda.  Will Joe win as an Independent?  Does his campaign strengthen democracy? That depends on how you look at it.  Lieberman can run as an Independent because he has money, lots of money.  Thus, it really only shows one thing:  American democracy—where money buys you power—is alive and kicking.  You can’t get votes if you don’t have dollars.        
Sometimes when I read the newspapers and see the political wonk shows, I walk away from said activities and shake the disbelief out of my clustered head.  “Freedom Fries no more…we’re back to French Fries…and what?”  “Lose the contest…say you’re not bowing out gracefully…seek to hold onto power.” And we wonder what’s wrong with the kids growing up these days!  Do we need to look any further than our leaders and the people who elect them? I’m going to make a tomato sandwich with vine-ripened and summer-sunned red fatties from my folks’ garden.  I will celebrate their delicious-ness with my good friend Bob Marley.  He’ll sing “No Woman, No Cry” to me, telling me “everything’s gonna be alright.”  My wanna-be dreads will be flowing down my back and I’ll think of swimming in the Caribe off of Utila while the tomato juice runs down my chin. 
   (written 13 August 2006)

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