Light Notes

Politics? Algebra? I'm confused

At times, I’m confused about politics. Things just don’t add up.

I do know -- because I read it in a newspaper article -- that 4 trillion greenbacks stacked on top of each other will reach the Moon. How we’ll climb out of the national debt by adding more is perplexing, but I was never good at math.

Recently, Bill and I met a high school kid who was at an event we attended with friends. She was confused about politics, too.

While I signed a greeting card she’d handed our group, Bill decided to make small talk.

“So, how is school?" He asked in his teacher’s voice.

“Well, I’m failing politics,” she said sadly. “I just don't understand that stuff.”

Bill paused, a quizzical look on his face, “Politics? You mean Government class?”

The student struggled for a moment, obviously uncomfortable with the direction of the conversation.

“It’s hard to explain,” she said. “You know, uh, it’s like . . . like . . . x2 + a + b . . . equals something,” her voice trailing.

Bill grasped her meaning, “Oh, you mean algebra!”

Her face lit up in a smile, “That’s it! I get confused.”

As she moved from our table to another, our conversation turned to national debt, a new judicial appointment and bailouts.

The conversation went on and on.

Finally, I couldn’t resist.

“Hey, let’s talk about something else!” I announced to our circle. “I’m tired of talking about algebra.”

Then came a clever response.

“I guess we’ve been on a tangent.”

Like I said, I’ve never been good at politics.