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The power of humor: Posterior observations from the plains

By Paul A. Ibbetson
web posted October 12, 2009

Do you still have a sense of humor? Can you still brake into a good solid laugh when the opportunity arises? Conservatives and the Republican Party, the party by which conservative values are most often found, are at risk of losing one of the most compelling weapons in their arsenal, a decent sense of humor. Now don't think for a moment that I am opposed to the righteous indignation, repulsion, and even anger, that has been reflected by the American people to the socialistic onslaught of policies that the Obama administration has attempted (and continues to attempt) to heap on this country and its people. I also reject the notion that victory for conservative values can be won by moderating our convictions and core values for the promise of "peace and tranquility" that would supposedly come from compromising the soul of this country. When it comes to this battle (which is being fought today) for the Christian foundations of this country, for the continuance of the capitalistic free market, and for the protection and security of this great nation against those who would wish us all dead, there is room for nothing short of absolutely victory.

However, if your eyes have been opened to the battle being waged for the future of this country, a good laugh has probably been the furthest thing from your mind - and this sentiment I understand. With that said, I firmly believe that those of us caught up in the turmoil of today may be withholding one of the most powerful tools for the ultimate victory of conservative values and the survival of the nation. So, for humor's sake, please humor me as I recount a story from the plains that will have applicability to not only politics but to all places where a good laugh should ensue.

I remember my first year of law enforcement, in the first summer I worked, and my first experience with public nudity - from behind the badge. Yes, when you are a policeman you remember a lot of your "firsts," as they often have a strong impact on you both positive and negative. Among the many "firsts" I would experience, this was a major life lesson. I was still in training and was riding with a seasoned officer. I remember we were sitting at a stop light and I was writing on a clipboard, part of the never ending paperwork that comes with the job, when I looked up for a moment to see a naked man run by the front of the patrol car. It was just about dusk, but the evening rays of sunshine were more than abundant to illuminate a not so athletic man in his forties - sporting nothing more than a set of glasses running southbound down one of the busiest streets in the city. I noted that he was traveling in the proper lane of traffic. Funny, how the mind works isn't it?

Now, even in the heartland (which is steadily becoming more and more liberal), a naked man running down the street still rates as the highlight of the day for many and causes a rather healthy amount of pandemonium. As the supervisor pulled the patrol car into traffic behind the rotund runner (red and blue light flashing), for what would turn out to be a quite lengthy slow speed pursuit, my mind was racing through the Kansas statutes, the department policies, and all the things that make up the serious business of law enforcement - or so I thought. It was time for a lesson in the field that we can take right into the world of politics.

 The lesson came not from words but from the sound of nearly uncontrolled laughter from the veteran officer at the wheel of the patrol car. When his laughing began to subside, the supervisor said between deep breaths for air "never miss a moment for a good laugh." With those white bouncing buttocks still in my peripheral vision, I listened as the supervisor explained that longevity in law enforcement was hinged upon the ability to find humor in places where humor is often lacking. Although we must prepare for potential dangerous things that may transpire at the conclusion of events such as these, what we have at this moment in time is "a naked man running down the street." So, among the flashing lights, the public screams of shock, and the not so quick flashes of human anatomy, a chorus of healthy laughter from a patrol car in the heartland of Kansas was added to the scene.

To my fellow conservatives, today we fight for a country that is under siege by a socialistic administration that wishes to rip the foundations of this country apart. The defense of this country will not be a short battle, nor will it be a battle without many painful casualties. To this reality I would say that we must arm ourselves with all the weapons at our disposal, laughter being a powerful tool in that arsenal. We need to laugh, not only at the foolishness of our adversaries, but even have a good laugh at ourselves from time to time. Yes, conservatives, we have to win the day, but to win, we may have to do it while among other things, laughing. ESR

Paul A. Ibbetson is a former Chief of Police of Cherryvale, Kansas, and member of the Montgomery County Drug Task Force. Paul received his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Criminal Justice at Wichita State University, and is currently completing his PhD. in sociology at Kansas State University. Paul is also the radio host of the Kansas Broadcasting Association's 2008 and 2009 Entertainment Program of the Year, Conscience of Kansas airing on KSDB Manhattan 91.9 f.m. For interviews or questions, please contact ibbetson91.9@gmail.com.





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