Unfortunately, the heirs of this legacy, modern comics, seem to have lost it. Instead of defusing the anger that naturally attends any conflict, most are tossing gasoline on the flames. Performance artists such as Bill Maher seem more interested in inciting a mass riot than in helping us cope with the vagaries of modern life. Satire is a lost art. And let's not get started on comic strips, once known as the “funnies.” Has anyone laughed at those recently?
Joy Bahar is a prime example. If you Google her, links to hundreds of smiling images will appear for you to select from. However, if you watch the View on ABC TV, you will rarely catch a flash of her pleasant side. She seems to sit in a continual state of discomfort, only becoming animated when her ideology is piqued by some passing reference that reminds her of her hatred of the former President, George Bush. For a renowned stand up comic, she is rarely funny, choosing instead to vent her spleen using hate-filled invectives. Interestingly, the longest I have observed her smile was the day after Osama Bin Laden was killed and she was gushing along with Barbara Walters at the role played by President Obama. I wonder if she later reflected on the irony of the fact that the President had simply completed a mission begun by his predecessor, one that he decried as a Senator and condemned as a candidate. Surely, it isn't hard to see the humor in that.
A recent article in PoliticalRuck.Us reflected on a narrow aspect of the uses of humor in politics - Political Satire. It's one of those things I wish I had written. That is, I wish I had said, "...it is humor that seeks to critique rather than criticize." We haven't seen much of that in a long time, have we?
It would be nice to have another "Will Rogers" appear on the public stage to help us laugh at the politicians and the ideological battles that roar about us daily. Unfortunately, such a personality wouldn't be able to emulate Will's famous line "I only know what I read in the papers..." Anyone who depends on the newspapers for their world view these days is going to be sadly led astray.
So here are a few laughs thanks to Will Rogers. Consider how many of these one-liners are appropriate to our times.
There’s no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.
Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate; now what’s going to happen to us with both a Senate and a House?
I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.
I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.
The more you read and observe about this Politics thing, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other. The one that’s out always looks the best.
The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has.
On account of being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only nation in the world that has to keep a government four years, no matter what it does.
The man with the best job in the country is the Vice President. All he has to do is get up every morning and say, “How’s the President?”
An economist’s guess is liable to be as good as anybody else’s.
Alexander Hamilton started the U.S. Treasury with nothing — and that was the closest our country has ever been to being even.
If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?
Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.
Politics has become so expensive that it takes a lot of money even to be defeated.
Diplomacy is the art of saying “Nice doggie” until you can find a rock.
A fool and his money are soon elected.
About all I can say for the United States Senate is that it opens with a prayer and closes with an investigation.
Our Constitution protects aliens, drunks, and U.S. Senators.
Anything important is never left to the vote of the people. We only get to vote on some man; we never get to vote on what he is to do.
Politics is applesauce.
Diplomats are just as essential to starting a war as soldiers are for finishing it… You take diplomacy out of war, and the thing would fall flat in a week.
I bet after seeing us, George Washington would sue us for calling him “father.”
There ought to be one day–just one–when there is open season on senators.
The country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.
If I studied all my life, I couldn’t think up half the number of funny things passed in one session of Congress.
If you ever injected truth into politics you’d have no politics.
Things in our country run in spite of government, not by aid of it.
We don’t seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business?
Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.
Liberty doesn’t work as well in practice as it does in speeches.
Ohio claims they are due a president as they haven’t had one since Taft. Look at the United States; they have not had one since Lincoln.
The 1928 Republican Convention opened with a prayer. If the Lord can see His way clear to bless the Republican Party the way it’s been carrying on, then the rest of us ought to get it without even asking.
There is no more independence in politics than there is in jail.
All I know is just what I read in the papers, and that’s an alibi for my ignorance.