Thursday, August 23, 2012


 My name is Jane, and I'm a political junkie.

I am powerless over my addiction.

I pledge to take it one day at a time and turn my addiction over to a higher power.

Well . . . not exactly.  That approach hasn't worked for me.  No, I'm going to pull myself out of this morass by my own bootstraps and lick this thing, no matter what.

Today is the first day . . .

It's 7:24 a.m., and I've already sneaked a peek at the Huffington Post headlines on my iPad.  The pull to check out the New York Times is overwhelming.  But I'm not going to do it.  No, I'm going to shut down my iPad this minute.

But then there's my iMac.  I should have turned it off last night.  But I didn't.  Now my home page shouts out the major headlines from the same NYT.  I try to quickly click on another link but catch the words Clinton and ad before the new page loads.  And as hard as I try not to go back and find out exactly what Clinton and ad are all about, I can't resist.

I am powerless over my addiction.

Last week, I hit the proverbial "bottom."  That's when a judge in Pennsylvania upheld the new Voter ID law, a law similar to those passed in multiple other states since the election of Barack Obama in 2008. 

I started to shake.  My stomach was in knots.  The banging in my head felt like a marching band had taken up residence.  I needed a fix, but what?  Another news story about all the millions of dollars being spent by PACs that don't have to declare its contributors?  The selection of Paul Ryan as Mitt's VP choice?  The complete failure of the Congress to get any work done?  

I turned off the TV, closed down all the computers in the house, tossed the newspaper and recent copy of Newsweek.  I would have no more of it.  I knew withdrawal would test every bit of fortitude I could muster and a lot of luck, but I was sure I was ready.  Nothing could stop me from breaking my habit.  I was going to be clean of all the political chatter and acrimony and sinister ploys that even the best fiction writer could never imagine.  I would detox from all the angst running through my veins.  I would be free of this demon that had taken over my life.

Who was I kidding?

Once a political junkie, always a political junkie.

But there is one ray of hope:  I used to be a diehard Chicago Cubs' fan.  I lived within earshot of Wrigley Field and, when the wind was blowing from east to west, I could hear strains of the national anthem, "Take Me Out to The Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch, and cheers when the Cubbies scored a run.

Well, we all know that the Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908.  Their record has been abysmal now for years.  I haven't watched a game in I don't know how long.  I have no idea the names of the current roster and, though I've heard that they are in or near the cellar again this year, I couldn't repeat their win/loss record if you put a gun to my head.

I kicked the Chicago Cubs' habit.  Maybe, just maybe, I can do the same with politics . . . well, maybe after November 6.


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