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A little light music: Send in the clowns (please!)
Karen Owen's op-ed column on the insanity of politics in America.

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Date published: 10/28/2012

By Karen Owen

WHEN MY husband and I rented a car recently, we were delighted to find that it came equipped with satellite radio. Our own cars had factory-installed radios that left much to be desired in the way of reception. We sang along with oldies from the 1950s and '60s, laughed with the audiences of public radio shows such as "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," and followed a Nats game from start to finish. The drive went by very quickly.

As someone who attended high school in the late '60s, I was inexplicably drawn to the 1940s station. Songs ranged from the jazzy to the hopelessly hokey and out of date, yet still I found myself happily listening to such songs as "Connecticut Is the State for Me," as sung by Bing Crosby and Judy Garland:

I know the spot, peaceful and fair,

I'd be so happy if I were there.

No matter where I'd chance to be,

Connecticut is the place for me.

I realize that songs like this may well have been popular because, for the first half of that decade, we were a nation at war. They may have been almost a form of propaganda, as most of the offerings were upbeat and relentlessly cheerful. The music must have been a tonic for radio listeners worried about loved ones serving overseas, and smarting from a decade of Depression.

Well, perhaps we could use a bit of music therapy today. We're in desperate need of a change in attitude.

As we head into Election Day, just a little over a week away, what is impossible to ignore is the heated, bitter, and hyperbolic--to put it kindly--political rhetoric. Even with my finger continually poised over the "mute" button on the television remote, it's been a difficult year. The economy is not good, it may not be for quite some time, and Americans are angry.

We read and hear that America will cease to exist if Obama is re-elected; that entitlement programs will be thrown under the bus if Romney is our choice. Each candidate has been demonized by an electorate that sometimes appears to have lost all reason.

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