The words are forever etched in my generation's musical memory. "Going to the candidates debate/Laugh about it, shout about it till you have to chose. Anyway you look at it you lose."
It is the warning song for "Mrs. Robinson." Mrs. Robinson you remember is someone who gets lost on the way in the classic movie, "The Graduate." She becomes so self-focused that her longing for pleasure envelopes all who get caught in her web. Pretense becomes the order of the day. All is fine until love gets in the way. Mrs. Robinson tries to "hide it in a hiding place where no one ever goes...put it in your pantry with you cupcakes." But it does not work. It never does.
Conflicting loves unwrap the cupcakes and throw open the doors of the pantry. Well, as I watch, or attempt to watch candidates debate and listen to those who used to be candidates but who are now "elected" offer their polarized talking points I want to announce that the gig is up. I want to be like old Dustin Hoffman shaking the doors at the back of the church in the movie as a horrified Mrs. Robinson looks on. I want to scream, "Stop it all for heaven's sake."
The song says, "We'd like to help you learn to help yourself." How many of us are screaming behind those doors for candidates and elected leaders to get a grip and quit acting like children? This is crazy. No one wants to talk anymore, they just want to make points. Well, we have to learn to live together and we have to learn to give and take. It was a lesson that parents were supposed to teach. Our leaders have forgotten both that lesson and have also forgotten their manners.
"God bless you please Mrs. Robinson; Jesus loves you more than you will know." Well God and Jesus please help our leaders come out of the bubble they must be in and see that we are tired of their childish "get my way or else" attitude. It is hurting the rest of us. Look to the back of the "church" and see that we are shaking the doors and yelling, "Stop."
The song ends with "Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio our nation turns it's lonely eyes to you/What's that you say Mrs. Robinson Joltin Joe has left and gone away." We do not need Joe DiMaggio. Our lonely nation is lonely for lack of leadership that possesses the depth and maturity to know that governing means working with those with whom you disagree. We don't need Joltin Joe, we need people with the vision to know that the issues with which we are dealing are not summed up in talking points but in negotiating the complexities of where we find ourselves. It is time to quit playing with our lives as they play with political agendas. Turn around, the doors behind you are shaking.
"God bless you please Mrs. Robinson, Jesus loves you more than you will know...Heaven holds a place for those who pray..." I now direct this old song to our leaders in Washington. God help us do better than this.