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Watching The River Flow

Updated on October 7, 2012
"But right now I'll just sit
 here so contentedly and
 watch the river flow."
      ~Bob Dylan~
 

Opinions & Bellybuttons

In a largely forgotten song, Dylan growled about my pastime.

For me, there is great enjoyment, contentment even, in watching the river of life flow and offering a bit of color commentary to it all.

Opinions, as has been said, are like bellybuttons. Everyone has one, but no single navel has the market cornered on perfection; so it is with opinions.

To my mind, making comments on the foibles of human nature is one of those unalienable rights Thomas Jefferson concluded were endowed by our Creator. I have yet to meet a situation that did not require my input.

"Watching The River Flow" is on Greatest Hits Volume II.  It is quintessential Dylan.
"Watching The River Flow" is on Greatest Hits Volume II. It is quintessential Dylan.

Explanations & Caveats

I am a political junkie not for partisan reasons but because it is the most intriguing game in town; more interesting characters, more shady machinations, more plot twists and better acting than the typical tinsel town dramas.

The double-dealing and flip-flopping bouts of one-upmanship are often entertaining or amusing.

The human drama is fascinating; I am drawn in by the maneuvers created by raw ambition. The convoluted scheming carries all the irony and pathos of a Shakespearean epic.

There is always enough hypocrisy on all sides of any particular storyline to make me extremely glad that my “citizenship is in heaven.”

I possess no illusions about the political process. There are occasional exceptions of course, but by definition, politicians play it fast and loose with the facts. It is the nature of the beast.

If you doubt that, pay attention as each side’s spin-doctors reformat the same statistics to make them echo their party line.

Right & Left

The Christian Right and the Christian Left seems to both believe that the task of the church is to usher in a new era of morality and governance based upon their singular reading and policy positions.

The church’s role in political life can be a dicey proposition.  In fact it can be dangerous to the true purpose and function of the church.  It is self-evident that in the transaction of rendering under Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s, Caesar seldom is the one to get shortchanged.  To politicize the gospel is to pervert the gospel.

Hope & Change?

Nine months into an administration that was to be all about hope and change, and buyer’s remorse is solidifying. According to Gallup the president’s approval ratings are in a steady decline while the disapproval numbers are on the increase.

Anyone who thought a savior was rising up from the noisy maelstrom has got to be gravely disappointed.

It’s the age-old game of jockeying for position. President Obama is a politician; he is a good talker, whose conduct is distanced from his words.

His example of bipartisanship means yakking circles all around a topic, nodding and winking at opponents and then going forward lock-step with his ideological companions.

He sees the world the way he wishes it would be, and there is a serious disconnect between that perspective and cold, hard reality. He has an unbridled belief in his powers of persuasion, though after a high-profile deployment of those gifts, Chicago placed fourth in a field of four for the 2016 Olympics.

If he cannot influence the nice folks on the International Olympic Committee, are we supposed to be comforted and encouraged by the prospect of him engaging in face to face sit-downs with the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejab or Hugo Chavez?

Candidate Obama had solutions to all the problems & answers to all the questions.
Candidate Obama had solutions to all the problems & answers to all the questions.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

There are hot potatoes requiring action: Health care, historic unemployment and an economy that is sputtering along; plus Afghanistan is desperate for decisive leadership.

His plate is full, but how long will he play the delaying game like a child refusing to eat what has been served?

His phalanx of apologists and supporters stay on message repeating that each issue is difficult; each problem is a puzzle requiring time to gather all the information before rushing to judgment with a decision.

Wait a minute. Candidate Obama had an answer for every one of these matters. He could tick them off as simple three-point plans. Afghanistan was the good war; it was necessary and urgent for America to win and secure the country. Why is he now dithering and dinking around?

Yes he has hard choices to make, but this is the job; this is the job for which Barack Obama invested millions of dollars and spent almost two years on the road campaigning to have; this is the business he has chosen. None of it is above his pay grade, so he ought to lead by making the tough decisions.

But what do I know? There’s nothing special about my bellybutton.

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    • Ken R. Abell profile image
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      Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Trsmd - Thanks for stopping in & sharing. Yes, watching the political river is lots of fun for me.

    • Trsmd profile image

      Trsmd 6 years ago from India

      this is not about the river flowing around banks.. but about the politicial river..

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
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      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Thanks, Richie. Much appreciated. You're right about Dylan's music.

    • Richieb799 profile image

      Richieb799 7 years ago from Cardiff, Wales UK

      One of my favorite Dylan songs is 'Don't think Twice its alright' - I know it's only a small part of your hub mentions him but its nice to talk to fellow Dylan fans! His music is so deep and metaphorical

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
      Author

      Ken R. Abell 8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Thanks, Tina Irene. Blessings to you.

    • profile image

      Tina Irene 8 years ago

      Ken -

      I couldn't have said it better than Destined To Win.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
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      Ken R. Abell 8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Thanks, Destined To Win. I am cheering for you in your 30 Hubs challenge. Be encouraged in all your ministry efforts.

    • Destined To Win profile image

      Destined To Win 8 years ago

      Thank you for this most excellent analysis of the political world and yes, the belly button. All I can say is simply, for what it's worth is, I agree. Thanks again.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
      Author

      Ken R. Abell 8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      H P Roychoudhury - Thank you for stopping by & sharing your thoughts. And I do not know why he is ditherng & dinking around. He seems to make decisions by not making decisions, which is not leadership. Oh, well.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 8 years ago from Guwahati, India

      hi Ken,

      I am an Indian and not an American but no one can shut down his eyes from the happenings in America. America is a country that concerns not only for the well beings of Americans but it concerns the sufferings and comforts of the creatures of the globe. I like very much of your hub starting from the title “Watching the River Flow” till the frequent statement of logic you made in your hub. Afghanistan was the good war; it was necessary and urgent for America to win and secure the country. Why is he now dithering and dinking around? Thank you for sharing.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
      Author

      Ken R. Abell 8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Thanks, Tim. Exactly right about whose image is stamped on the human soul...

    • profile image

      tim casper 8 years ago

      Ken, I love the line that "Caesar seldom is the one to get shortchanged"! That is I think because we expect God to understand and be more squishy, He is just a big teddy bear after all right? If things that have Caesar's image on them belong to Caesar, then since I have been made in God's image I would suppose that I belong to God,....hmmm

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
      Author

      Ken R. Abell 8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Thanks, Sam

      "I think there is far more to the shady machinations and plot twists than meets the eye."

      Me too, but don't get me started on conspiracy theories. :>)

    • profile image

      auntiesam19 8 years ago

      Well, as usual, you don't mince words. That's what I like about you. I think there is far more to the shady machinations and plot twists than meets the eye. We only know what we are told. I think we see the part of the iceberg above water, while the biggest portion still looms under the water. But, like you said, what do I know?

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
      Author

      Ken R. Abell 8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Thanks for stopping in & reading. Always appreciated. He does have a rather different bend to him, doesn't he?

    • profile image

      roger L. Williams 8 years ago

      Excellent editorial. You give B. O. too much credit. He's a bona fide Fabian socialist with liberal, anti-Christian tendencies and his administration is about changing the US into a liberal socialist country. In this he has been decisive and clear. His foreign policies have been a shambles while his in-country moves have only been held up because of an active and conservative talk-show element. B. O. owns the mainstream media. Without a vocal opposition from the people he would become essentially an all-powerful dictator with his base support coming from the extreme, wealthy, and powerful left. That is not what we want for this country.