Those who entered the task of listening patiently to two political conventions to conclusion should find that their faith in our governmental system is not wholly dependent upon what is offered in mindless sound bytes directed at subliminal emotions. We have powers of discerning truth when we make the effort to be citizens in a democratic society.
I am daily almost overwhelmed by apathy and loss of faith in the system. Have we allowed democracy to be yielded to the power of money at the roulette table? We know there is little hope in the hypnosis of the "winner-take-all" game we play. Our attention is glued to the dealers at the table who suggest that this time it may be "me" who will take home the big prize. Riveting our eyes on dealers at the table, ignoring even others who sit with us there in hope/despair, we are blind to the money changers behind the iron bars in the shadows, the true winners who set the switches and control the game. This is a vision that destroys our hopes with every turn of the wheel. One person goes home with questionable hope in the future and comes back to despair.
But I recall another vision with a different story. My mother, a teacher and mother of eight, in her late years hampered by loss of hearing, enjoyed daily after the evening news on network television the one show that gave her pleasure: Wheel of Fortune. That classic family mind game, hosted still with the elegance and courtesy of Pat and Vanna, has taken a subtle change in direction from the path of GSN's Las Vagas winner-take-all hype. At the Wheel of Fortune table, everybody goes home with something. Nobody leaves empty handed.
To those who have allowed television to bury the democratic process in apathy that has lost hope, that no longer chooses, that accepts the idea that we have already lost at the table, my response must be in the direction of exercising the rights of citizenship and responsibility. You do have a choice: casino economics or the politics of hope. If it is a game of fortunes, I must place my faith in the Politics of Hope - for all.
Bernice R. Lemley