“Monkey see, monkey do,” the pidgin-style saying that appeared in American culture in the 1920s, is alive and well today among politicians. The media huffs and puffs it.

The phrase refers to the learning of a process without understanding why it works. Another definition implies the act of mimicry, usually with limited knowledge and/or concern for the consequences.

And so it goes today. Sen. Susan Collins uses newspaper pages to advise us she won’t vote for either Trump or Clinton for president. Too, the Aug. 18 editorial in this newspaper asks, “Will Poliquin vote for Donald Trump or not?” It’s front page stuff: “Governor: Trump was his 3rd pick.” Monkey business is the current craze.

“Mimicry” is synonymous with “imitate.” Politicians who tell us who they support or don’t support would have us herd up and led to the polls. And “by golly, gee whiz,” we’ll do it. It’s just like the way money affects how we vote; the biggest spenders get elected. The largest campaign chests lead the polls.

Look around America. Could any one of us have written the presidential script now on stage? The Bush family has made an exit. Clintons are ready to enter stage left and Chelsea is even in the mix. Shades of the 1920s.

The phrase “monkey see, monkey do” is pastiche in the 1968 movie, “Planet of the Apes,” inverted into “human see, human do.” Today, the movie being rehearsed is “Planet of the Sheep,” voters herded by politicians and their bucket bucks.

When we don’t think for ourselves, we’ve got another thing coming.

John Benoit


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