The Sonoma County Gazette: Community News Magazine
Sonoma County Gazette
| more

Photo Gallery

Senior Momentum - February 2016 - Are The Clowns In Charge?


Are The Clowns In Charge?

by Zoe Tummillo

In our calendar season for love, sweet love, it is difficult not to be distracted by the circus act that is taking place on political fronts nationwide. It may be cliché, but give-me-a-break...!

It amazes me what are considered by candidates (on all sides of the fences) as issues relevant and essential to the governing of our country. Campaign by insult, blatant misrepresentation of facts and behaviors unbecoming, even for kindergartners, seems to be OK.

A very troubling point is that we obviously have large numbers of the voting body who think those folks are adult, competent to lead a country (any country), are legitimate role models and are believable. That is really scary. 

I love a debate – would like to see some real ones! What these contenders call debates would make my college professors and our debate teams turn over in their graves. It’s more like cat- fighting. Ideas and ideologies, relevant national concerns and one’s personal suitability for the job isn’t even on the table! It seems that most of the contenders see their responsibility to be the destruction of the characters of the others. And, if that’s not enough, then tear into your personal opinion of their cities, friends, spiritual beliefs and policies.

All that said, I thought a lot about our theme for this beautiful February – Love! I see and hear so little of simple love for the country that these clowns are wanting so earnestly to head. Isn’t love supposed to be all tangled up in virtues such as respect, propriety, honor, discretion and awe – to name just a few of love’s characteristics? 

The one that seems absent and that irks me most is: respect. How easily these folks slip in an out of insult and feigned respect when it is time for a sound bite or a photo op. I must have been in a coma when the shift happened, and the populace was coached and willingly lulled into accepting clowns for candidates, imagination as reality, fiction as fact and the abandonment of loving respect for the country. 

I do not see myself as an elder stuck in the good old days, seeing the political universe through rose colored glasses. For one thing, my grandmother pointed out to me when I was about twelve that “the good old days” weren’t necessarily so good! We were comparing doing laundry – from pounding on rocks to the wringer machines to the automatic we were using while having our conversation!

Using absolute disrespect for a seated President (whether or not you voted him in) as part of campaign arguments designed to seduce my vote seems a powerful example of how far we have fallen. How can a Democracy endure when the populace cannot even abide by its own simple rules of a fair contest followed by support of the winner? So... if I don’t get my way, I do everything in my power to hamper the process? That has become admirable, how very sad.

Love of country must mean love of its construct and our ability to review, revise and compromise. The notion of reaching consensus is like a foreign language to a majority of our presently seated legislators. The shameful record that our recent stonewalling Congress has given to history speaks to many, many shortcomings. No Love in sight there.

I think we need to bring Love in out of the rain, out of the fast-lengthening shadows and out of the hands that seek to replace it with pragmatic sounding complicity with power. It’s a bit like the simple fact that parents surely have the power to effect many questionable things upon their children – but do they have the right?

Deciding to choose Love can seem so simple and so out-of-context to the hefty, ponderous and self-important tones of Politics. Duplicity can be made to ring loudly, sound smart, and sell itself as clever, informed and – right.

Love needs to push its way back into the game. Compromise, consensus and diplomacy make room for Love on the agenda. The kind of love that sounds so corny but works so well – if we can just get over ourselves.

Zoë Tummillo is a Business & Marketing Consultant, Trainer, Commercial Writer, dba COMMUNICATION CONCEPTS, in private practice since 1974. In addition to Commercial work, she writes “Senior Momentum: A Series of Situations”; “Pieces of My Path”©, essay memoirs of growing up first generation Italian American; and Senior Momentum: Front And Center!©. To contact her: email: