Opinion: Electorate is being played

Published 12:19 am Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Folks, we are being played like a fiddle and we are blindly square dancing to the tune, following every call to do-si-do. The fiddle player is this administration and the tune they are calling us to step to is one of distraction, chaos and division.

It’s not hard to figure this out if you stop and simply give what’s going on some thought and use some common sense. There is a pattern happening and it’s been happening since January 20, 2017. Well, it actually started even before that during a presidential campaign.

It goes like this — stir up some emotionally charged issue like immigration, North Korea, pro football players’ protests, white supremacy marches, etc. Get everyone’s anger, outrage, fear going at a fever pitch. Division, division, division, that is the chorus of this song. Turn, turn, turn on each other is the dance step.

Oh and there is a full band helping the leading fiddle player play his song. And there is a whole choir of Americans happily joining in on the chorus and twirling in circles to the call.


It’s hard to think clearly when we are reacting and those writing this song understand this very well. They are willing to use any tool they have to keep this chaotic melody going. They dive deeply into what will get the biggest reactions — our religious beliefs, patriotism, nationalism, racism, sexism … Heck, they are even willing to use children if need be.

Oh, they are clever these songwriters. They can write a verse using something as simple as a jacket worn by the first lady to create chaos and dissention. (Don’t think there wasn’t some thought behind that).


And while we are caught up in this twirling dance, distracted by the tune and the call to step, other things happen outside of our awareness. Or if we hear about other things, the sound of the fiddler pushes them into the background.

We barely notice when our country steps away from the United Nations Human Rights Council. Only three other countries have done this, including North Korea and Iran. Now we are number four.

When our leader says he admires the way a ruthless dictator has control of his citizens, we hardly take note. The haunting call of that chaotic song drowns out everything else and we just keep dancing.

We dance while they talk behind the music about cutting Medicare, Medicaid and making massive changes to Social Security. We twirl while healthcare become less accessible to the masses and local hospitals close their doors. We tap our feet while our allies watch in amazement at the dance we are choosing to dance.

We decide to hear only a certain tune, hardly noticing that there are different lyrics designed to fit the group we dance with. We sneer and argue and berate those who move to a beat different from ours. And, that is exactly what the ones calling this dance wanted from the start.


The problem with being played like a fiddle and dancing an unending, chaotic dance is eventually it wears folks out. Tired dancers choose to sit it out, and just let the fiddler play on while they watch.

There is one thing we can do before we reach that state of exhaustion. We can leave the dance floor. We can tune out the sound of the fiddler’s tune and refuse to move to the steps being called.

We can join hands and hearts and start to sing a different chorus. One that moves us into a dance called democracy.

“My country, ‘tis of thee,

Sweet land of liberty,

Of thee I sing;

Land where my fathers died,

Land of the pilgrims’ pride,

From ev’ry mountainside

Let freedom ring…”

And, in one strong united American voice, from the mountains to the valleys, from sea to shining sea, we can tell the fiddler and his band:



Nancy Blackmon is a former newspaper editor and a yoga teacher.