Jack Russell, the Leash, and the Hand That Holds It

Today I had to go online and buy another leash for my dog.

I bought the last leash a week ago.  I was determined to make this one last.  It seemed like it would.  I went to take Robbie out for a walk.  It’s my day off and I enjoy getting him out of the house.  So I got dressed and he got excited.

I put his new leash on him and we went out to the garage where I put on my socks and shoes.  In the few minutes I spent putting on my shoes and reading my twitter feed, he went to work.

We started walking and within ten minutes, the frayed part of the leash broke and he was running free.

I know I can’t allow him time to gnaw on the leash.  I know this.

It’s my fault.  I know what he’s going to do.

We’ve been through a few of leashes.  Each time I get a different one hoping it will work out.  It’s not the leash.  It’s not the dog.  It’s me allowing him to gnaw on the leash.

We’ve had around a week to think about what happened in the election last week.  There may be what seems like a slight nationwide hangover regarding what happened.

Clinton blamed Comey’s announcement as the reason she lost.

Many supporters blamed Jill Stein and the tiny percentage of votes she took.  Wouldn’t have changed much of the map.  Wouldn’t have allowed Clinton the victory.

Clinton surrogate Rachel Maddow suggested that it was all the third party candidates.  She outlined exactly how many votes were needed from Stein and Johnson in different states in order to win.

So many people tried to blame the Russians.  Some tried to blame wikileaks.  Some tried to blame social networking.

Of course there is the flip side of the argument in which progressives argue that had the DNC actually engaged the their people and allowed for democracy to happen, then party would have been going in the direction they wanted and their hand would not have been forced.  Maybe Sanders would have won.

Honestly, and I’ve been writing about this for months, Clinton was so unlikable and she was viewed as part of the problem.  She lost because she is Clinton and nearly 48% of the population stayed home instead of voting for either her or Trump.

The fact is that it’s been 32 years since the last time we voted an entertainer into the Presidential office.  It’s been 36 years since Reagan was originally voted in.  Reagan was a game changer in the thinking of this country. He started much of the trickle down economy that has never really gone away.  He started deregulation and that has only increased since Reagan left office.  Bill Clinton continued this way of thinking.  W increased it.  Obama has maintained it.

Entertainers shouldn’t get involved in politics.  I’m watching you, Clooney.

I started this by talking about my dog.  How he keeps tearing up his leashes.  Who is to blame when it snaps?

My dog is part Jack Russell.  I know what this brings.

So let’s think of it in these terms.

The American population may very well be the Jack Russell in my metaphor.  We need to be entertained.  We have a short attention span.  Often we will do things that are bad for us.  We will run in the wrong direction.  We will engage in activities that are bad.

Pet Rock.
The Apprentice.

Think of the leash as the legislation.  The leash is the laws that keep us from running off and engaging in activities which are bad for us.  Every Jack Russell should not be set free.  They need a leash even if they think they will be okay without one.  They at least need a high fence.

But if we aren’t careful and allow the laws to sit there next to our Jack Russell teeth, we will try to break it apart.


And then there is the government.  The government is the hand which holds the leash.  It provides the leash.  It may even throw us a ball.  It may provide us with a longer leash sometimes and a shorter one others.  It may hold the population tightly or loosely.

Will the government allow us a long walk and exercise?  Or will it only take us out to urinate and drop a Cruz?

Sometimes I take Robbie out.  Sometimes my wife does.  Occasionally one of my kids will.  Here’s what I know, he needs exercise and walks and interaction.  Any good government should allow for that.  And my Jack Russell tells me that he needs it.

Let’s bottom line this.  For 36 years the population has seen the leashes of the Jack Russell get shorter and limitations placed.  Less exercise and more pet rocks.  More dogs are in the pound than ever before.  We see the big corporate dogs get completely unleashed.  Regardless of who is holding the leash, this has been the constant.

It’s the economy.

There’s a freedom that the population asks for.  And every two years we get to ask for a new hand to hold us and direct us.

I need to finish this metaphor.  I need to finish this whole thing.  I’ve had time to think about why what happened happened.

This Jack Russell has been chewing through the leash for years now.  They’ve been looking for a different direction.  They’ve seen the corporate German Shepherds at the bigger dog park roam free.  The smaller Jack Russells have been sent to dogfights they have no interest in.

When my dog wants to go in a certain direction, he pulls and tugs.  If I don’t want to go that direction he won’t be happy.  I can’t let him go anywhere he wants every single time, but the population I’m collectively calling a Jack Russell has been pulling and tugging for years now.  Sometimes I can convince my dog to go in a different direction if I offer him treats or speak in a certain tone.  Not every time.  The Jack Russell is tired of being moved right regardless of who is holding the leash.

America chewed through the leash again.  With Obama’s help, it seemed as if Clinton had a firm group on the leash that controlled America, but Clinton was left holding on to the limp end of the leash.

Clinton helped make the leash that was gnawed through.  She can blame everybody else in the world, but this Jack Russell was collectively tired and they tried to tell her so six months ago.  A firmer grip and patchwork reinforcements on to the leash was the wrong answer.

And she can blame everybody else in the world, but the fact is that nobody wanted her holding the leash anymore.  She needs to look in the mirror.  She needs to know this was her own doing.  She needs to know that when the Jack Russell wants to go a certain direction, you probably should have at least entertained it.

Because once something gets in a Jack Russell’s head, that dog is going to be even more determined to go if you hold the leash tighter.

For now, my fellow collective Jack Russell, stand tall.  Keep firm.  And don’t give in.  The new leash is already starting to fray.  Don’t go backwards.

Stand Tall Jack Russell


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