Sunday, November 19, 2017

Dim, Dimmer, and Blackout

The State of the Union
Dim, Dimmer, and Blackout
Repubs, Dems and our Constitution
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

            Somewhere deep in the heart of the Southwest straddling the state line between Arizona and New Mexico there exists a mesquite thicket of modest fame. Its origin can be traced variously, but the most likely genesis came from seasonally dependent Indians who had discovered the value of the mesquite with its annual bean crop. It added to a strategic pantry of sustenance. By spreading the mesquite, another food source could be gathered.
            Wild and wooly, the thicket has seen its share of characters.
            The Hookers and then the miners passed through it, General Crooke attempted to track Geronimo through it, the Mormons arrived first to chop rattlesnakes and then cotton in it, and the smell of the water motés along the river remains the same as it always has.
A proxy paradise it might seem to those who have known only it as home.
            Dim, Dimmer, and Blackout
            Years ago, a trio of brothers lived and scraped a meager living from the thicket and its creosote transitions out of the river bottom. They had a little herd of cattle, and, to reaffirm the prevailing biotic zone, their house was in thick mesquites, their barn was in thick mesquites, and to walk from the house to the barn and back the trail ran through more thick mesquites. Snakes could be anywhere and everywhere.
            The locals knew the given names of the boys, but, due to prevailing, weighted opinion, they were known as Dim, Dimmer, and Blackout. When it was necessary, Dim was the spokesman for the three. He did all the talking and Dimmer would stand there beside him adding nuanced inflections.
            He would often acknowledge the points of emphasis for Dim by nodding, grimacing, or offering well or misplaced “Uh’uhs”, “Hu’uhs”, “Oooohs”, or “Hmmmms”. There was little doubt Dimmer was a man of few words.
            Blackout was even less prone to discuss stimuli or to verbalize anything for that matter. He was normally kept on a leash with a collar around his neck. Memory of most of the folks who actually knew the boys suggest that it was Dimmer who usually assumed the assignment to lead Blackout around. When they went to the store to get groceries, they had a ring welded to the frame of the car in front of the passenger seat where they would tie Blackout so he wouldn’t wander off while they were doing their shopping.
            To make things even a bit more bizarre, the three had a little dog that they kept tied to a long clothesline. They had it rigged so that the dog had the full distance of the clothesline to run back and forth. The dog could be prompted to run if you yelled or honked your horn at him. Eye witnesses recall seeing the little dog run for all he was worth until just before he would be jerked to a halt only to spin round and round and then shoot off the opposite direction only to repeat the feat as a mirrored image.
            The whole thing was just a bit on the strange side.
            It was with that backdrop that Dim told his neighbor from up the river one morning to come look at the stud horse they had bought. “I could only imagine the starved down burro they had tied to the corral fence,” the neighbor remembered. “What I saw, though, just blew my mind!”
            There stood a most magnificent stud horse. What possessed those fellows to seek or buy such an animal was an ample contradiction. It just didn’t make any sense. The horse was from Montana and he even had papers that verified he was, indeed, from royal lineage. To find himself in the middle of a mesquite thicket with the likes of Dim, Dimmer, Blackout and the crazy dog was probably as improbable to him as it was to the neighbor.
            If stranger things could happen, it would likely be hard to find unless, of course … we witness Washington.
            Repubs, Dems and our Constitution
            Like the object they are starting to smell and resemble, Republicans are about to find themselves floating in the punch bowl. It is abundantly clear that they can talk the talk, but perhaps have no idea how to walk the walk. For starters, the matter of markets seems to be lost upon them aside from their teleprompter notes. They can say the words, but continue to demonstrate they have little idea what the actual bridge to the application of the term actually is.
            They talk tough and then dance without rhythm.
            The Democrats continue to stick close to their mantra of symbolism over substance. Certainly, they are for open borders, but “open” seems to be their only operative word. Open marriages, open restrooms, open season on private property rights, and endless open wallets is what they channel.
            They would rather not give anybody a tax break if it means giving one to a rich “deplorable”.
            Repubs have always been afraid of health policies, but have no idea how to frame the conservation to make sense even to themselves. Dems have always been enemies of national defense measures, but can’t admit it or they run the risk of displaying real colors and offending their handlers.
            Both have long been woefully inadequate stewards of our Constitution. The truth is they alternately fill the role of Dim and Dimmer with more ineptitude than we should tolerate. Like the grand horse in our prelude, the magnificent cornerstone that they claim to adhere to, our Constitution, is simply a mascot to their chicanery. And us? We fill the role of Blackout being led around like we are actually going somewhere to fulfill some preordained destiny.
Fools we are for allowing this to happen!

            Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “Dim, Dimmer, and Blackout did one thing few politicos ever accomplished … they supported themselves.”

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