Getting Beyond Pedantry

Getting Beyond Pedantry

Caution! Don’t tell a perfectionist minutia isn’t important. You risk incurring their wrath. It’s uncertain whether they’re born that way, or not. Either way, details are everything. “There’s a reason,” they vow. We who round off our checkbook, it’s unfathomable. In 1954, a love song charted in the UK and here, titled “Little Things Mean A Lot,“ by Kitty Kallen. The lyrics went, “Blow me a kiss across the room, Say I look nice when I’m not, Touch my hair as you cross the room.” The last verse, “Send me the warmth of a secret smile, To show me you haven’t forgot, For always and ever, now and forever, Little things mean a lot.” We get it. Little things matter to many. It’s the preoccupation or overemphasis on trivial, relatively unimportant things that qualifies as “pedantic.” Webster states, “a narrow-minded teacher who insists on exact adherence to a set of arbitrary rules; ostentatious focus.” We must get beyond that in our nation that faces disturbing consequential issues threatening our Republic.

At last week’s Fox News debate, front runner Donald Trump, not so subtly told news anchor, Meghan Kelly, there’s more important events in our world than how he labels women-particularly Rosie O’Donnell. The dust up underscored what some view as “pedantry.” The economy’s in the tank, aborted babies are being dismembered and harvested for parts, rouge state Iran’s building nuclear capabilities, and we’re to worry about every “jot and tittle.” In shameful fawning for optics, many GOP hopefuls rushed to Kelly’s defense, demanding civility toward women. His recrudescence offended some.

With over 100 million people “living on Facebook” it’s no shock we major on the trivial over the substantial. It’s undeniable that social media is a major force in our nation-for good or ill. President Obama tapped this communication behemoth in his last two elections, reaching a group of millennial voters heretofore overlooked. He convincingly feigned his understanding of their plight-twice. This time GOP hopefuls are posturing to appeal to that voting block. Pundits estimate that Marco Rubio and Rand Paul have the inside track. Hillary has thrown down the gauntlet, proposing a $350 billion dollar “ new college compact ” hustle on the back of us all. Another entitlement. Millennial voters will embrace it. Will Populist, self-avowed socialist, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, have a better deal? One-ups-man-ship on steroids.

Interrupting the 24/news cycle, retailer Target execs announce that it will remove gender specific signs in their stores. Posturing based on “that some complained.“ This gives new meaning to “unisex” shopping. Will this move back fire? Another reason to ignore Target. Is this the retail equivalent of pedantic versus substance? Pandering to a segment of the market at the expense of another. Caitlyn Jenner landed a scandalous TV deal to act as a purveyor of a lifestyle that’s was once too bizarre for the airwaves. Someone blogged, “If Caitlyn ends up missing, would his face be on the standard milk carton? Or half & half?” Absolute triviality.

The establishment GOP can’t distance itself from Trump fast enough. Are they more fearful of pandering to the concerns of mendacious Hillary’s mythical “war on women,” than “dinner table” issues like the economy? Or national defense? Rather than letting voters ultimately determine if Trump‘s viable, they “disinvited” him to a GOP sponsored event last week. Abortion has been front and center in the debates. Even former “pro-choice” candidates converted. Pataki and Trump saw the light. True Substance? Or merely pandering to the base?” Obfuscation?

Some bemoan the crowded “17 thoroughbreds” in the GOP stable. “Too many,” some say. James Madison, in Federalist #10, made the argument, in his own words, “that each representative will be chosen by a greater number of citizens in the large than the small republic.” His rationale, it appears, is that the larger the pool, “unworthy candidates” will be readily detected. These “fit characters,” it was expected, would seek the “public good.”

Any GOP push to marginalize Trump will backfire. A GOP pundit blogged, “Seventeen thoroughbreds stand a better chance to beat the Democrats’ old mare.” Pundits are baffled to explain Trump’s destiny. Except the nearly omnipotent GOP darling Charles Krauthammer, whose crystal ball has GPS. One analyst characterized Trump as, “symptomatic of our anger and angst.” If he’s that inept, “one trick pony” liberty demands we let it play out. Madison’s on our side.

Those claiming the mantle of “liberty minded conservatives” are charged to conduct due diligence to demonstrate the “wisdom” that enables us, to use Madison’s words again, “best discern the true interest of their country.” And, to estimate their “patriotism and love for justice.” He maintained such would be least likely sacrificed by factious motives. To achieve the Founders’ consideration of this type of government, we must be informed, not by popular opinion, but by regard for substantive candidates that, to the best we can determine, can bring justice, the rule of law, and strict adherence to the Constitution of the United States.

Support and extol candidates whose virtues have upheld this Republic. Reject those leading primarily by cant, demagogy and bombast. It’s one thing to be “entertained for a season.” We must not “coronate another king.” Consider the vacuous residue of President Obama’s lawlessness, whose contempt for the Constitution is promulgated by his strategy that the state is the chief vehicle to “utterly transform” our freedoms.

Liberty minded voters understand we should be asking questions like, “What are you going to do to uphold the Constitution of the United States?” Our liberty rests upon it. If the GOP establishment can marginalize Trump, it’s only a matter of time before they do so with liberty minded candidates. Where’s our compass? For more than a century the Indianapolis Star Newspapers’ masthead’s emblazoned with, “Where The Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty.” Lest we forget. Like the “Tin Man,” with a brain, we can think. What do you think?

Mike Pyatt is a resident of Natrona County. His email is

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