Lives there a legislator inside whose timid breast there does not beat the heart of a lion? You may be long past your fighting years (even if you're a veteran) but if you are any kind of legislator, you see yourself as forever in battle.
Newspapers and electronic media encourage this courage of the cloakroom.
"Congressman Fligl Fights For the Rights of the Mildly Unpleasant to Look At," the headline trumpets.
Fligl, meanwhile, is a pudgy little fellow who only goes out in the sunlight if he's on a yacht belonging to a drug manufacturer.
I oughta know. I live in Fall River, Massachusetts, a jolly little poverty pocket whose mayor is currently under indictment, and has been led out of his house in handcuffs.
In news stories, our mayor is routinely referred to as "embattled." Possibly because "alleged greasy little thief" won't fit in the headline.
And, of course, our mayor isn't "embattled," not at all. He's not any more embattled than your cousin Richie, who got arrested for selling Oxycontin across the street from a middle school.
The only way Richie can become a hero is if he beats the rap, stops using and goes back into the middle school, not with a pocketful of nods, but with a powerful message about how he "battled his demons."
The military metaphor is as deeply rooted in our culture as the sports metaphor. Personally, I want to vomit whenever I hear some politician babbling about teams or some ball being in somebody's court. I'm an old-school workingman, and I can tell you that those bosses who are always talking about "the team," will fire you for a dollar-a-week raise and a post-huddle pat on the butt from some corporate sneak thief who was in his high school band.
Which is why I got my kidneys in a knot when I read over and over how House GOP members "stormed" into a secure room to interrupt testimony about the Ukraine. Not only did they storm, I've read, they "occupied."
Let slip the dogs of war!
They brought along their smartphones, like any other knight in armor, and they ordered pizza and Chick-fil-A, because everyone likes pizza and Chick-fil-A won't make you gay.
I believe Americans stormed ashore on Normandy Beach. I believe the Mexicans stormed the Alamo. I believe the Crusaders stormed Jerusalem.
I do not believe that a collection of gray hair (and hair dye) in blue suits stormed anything.
If anything, this non-martial staged event deserved even more warlike description.
"Clad in shaggy custom-made bear skins, blood-smeared howling Republicans stormed into a heavily fortified room, wading through the moat, tossing alligators aside like used plastic straws.
"Bursting into the room, they beheaded their legislative enemies with battle-axes, holding their dripping heads up to the god Ra-Trump, and howling his name while, outside the window, unclean birds struggled to burst through the glass and feast on the bodies of the slain, and the Chick-fil-A."
Whew! That's better.
And the peasants rejoiced!
Yeah. I know how to write this stuff. I'm just not sure I know how to live with this stuff.
To find out more about Marc Dion and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com. Dion's most recent book, a collection of his columns entitled "The Land of Trumpin'," is available to warriors, nobles and peasants in paperback from Amazon.com and for Nook, Kindle, iBooks and GooglePlay.