The Pursuit of Happiness


Some children act like feral monsters and sow misery with every step they take. I’m not talking about your kid, of course. Your kid Johnny is great, and God forbid that anyone would think your Johnny is the object of this missive. I’m talking about that kid down the street, no relation to you whatsoever.

The memorable feral monster of my childhood was Jimmy S., who lived next door and made life hell for every kid on the block. When I was four, he held my head underwater in a tub until I blacked out. When my mother objected, Mrs. S. told mom she was raising me to be a little girl.

Teachers probably get this. If they tell some parents their kid is “disruptive in class” or “could have a better work ethic,” the parents indignantly erupt and demand to see a higher authority. In their world, no one outside of the family has the right to state the facts, varnished or otherwise.  

This is common. When an uppity Yankee points out that Arkansas is 47th out of 50 states in nearly every damn thing, the overriding consensus is that the Yankee needs to go back where he came from (but he should leave his money). These are the same people who are enraged when anyone criticizes their hometown… but privately advise their children to leave it as soon as possible and “go and make something of yourself.”

It isn’t a surprise then that 42% of Republican Party voters – mostly rural, small town, and Southern voters – think any news they don’t like is fake news. And since news is history in the making, it stands to reason that any history they don’t like must be fake, too.

History, for example, shows that 9 out of 10 of the last recessions have been in Republican led administrations. And since 1961, Republicans have held the White House for 28 years, and the private economy produced 24 million jobs. In the 24 years Democrats held office, 42 million jobs were created.

But gosh, is that fake history, or real history? I guess it depends on whether you like it or not. 


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