Monday, May 11, 2015


We don’t have to look far to see jerks automatically flexing their knees:

Union leaders who assume that increased trade will take jobs away from their workers (whose dues, of course, pay their salaries) have a kneejerk negative reaction to international trade agreements.  Economic arguments to the contrary are reflexively dismissed.

New Englanders knee jerkedly dismiss the notion that their hero, Tom Brady, could be guilty of cheating.  To be fair, the rest of the country, who don’t like the Patriots, jerk their knees too – in the opposite direction.

Hillary and Obama haters have daily knee jerks that bolster their preconceived assumptions.  And on the other side, liberals who see conservative conspiracies around every corner are also compulsive jerkers – usually it is the left knee that moves.

Populating the Israeli-Palestinian divide are predictable KneeJerks who have been repeating themselves for decades.  I’m right and you’re wrong trumps common sense – and nothing changes.

Do the KneeJerks always win?  No, sometimes the pattern is broken.

It happened in South Africa with the end of apartheid.
It happened in Ireland when the killing stopped.
It happened in the U.S. when equality in education and voting rights became a reality.
It happened in baseball when Jackie Robinson came to the big leagues.

But the KneeJerks don’t go quietly and vigilance is required to maintain a new status quo.  Don’t assume “one and done” is enough.  Like it or not, KneeJerk-ism is part of the human condition.  Where does it live?  Take a look in the mirror.


Post a Comment

<< Home