A bipartisan consensus on action against leaf blowers and their use in a nation that is experiencing socio-political division could be one issue where citizens of all political stripes might come together. Tonight Show host Johnny Carson tapped into the instinctual enmity created by these machines and made them the butt of a recurring joke. Here’s an example: “The guys with the leaf-blowers showed up and blew all my neighbor’s leaves onto my lawn.” While the great George Carlin never weighed in on leaf-blowers, one imagines the commentary would’ve been scathing.
It’d be naive to presume that an anti-leaf-blower crusade could lead to a full national reconciliation. This is a wide-spread rift. But if anything can serve as an ameliorative balm on minds rubbed raw by constant political warfare, it’d be a consensus uprising against these cacophonous, malodorous, polluting, peace-shattering contraptions.
Imagine the possibilities. U.S. U.S. Matt Gaetz and Adam Schiff drafting federal legislation. A summit is held by Senate leaders Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell and Adam Schiff. They toast the end to both gas-and electric leaf-blowers. Donald Trump and Barack Obama jointly held a press conference to call on the government to end these devices. “our national nightmare.”Antifa and Oath Keepers, leftist agitators, peacefully gather on the Capitol Mall.
Envision a sit-down between Trump-hater Robert DeNiro and Trump supporter Jon Voight on comedian Bill Burr’s podcast, during which the two actors agree that the time for a ban on what DeNiro describes as “the f&%king leaf-blowers”It is now.
This legislation is not opposed by anyone. They are the companies that produce them. Lowes and Home Depot? These entities will be paid handsomely by lobbyists for their efforts to fight back, but history will show them wrong. Insensitive homeowners who disrupt otherwise peaceful mornings are going to be criticized. Carlin made a joke that may have been appropriate: “Studies show that the use of cell phones may lead to brain damage. Studies also show that nobody cares, because everybody hates people who use cell phones.”
Landscape gardeners who use leaf-blowers daily may balk at the return to an implement known as a rake, but the majority of them don’t vote. At least, not yet. The legislature will decide on penalties for leaf-blowers who violate new laws. The death penalty is probably too harsh. Since it’s the sound-conducting airwaves that are polluted by leaf-blower use, the punishment must fit the crime, and must relate to audible distress.
Republican first offenders will be sentenced to a weekend incarceration in which they’ll be forced to listen to looped Hillary Clinton monologues,Joy Behar’s quips will spice it up. Dick Morris will be narrating for the Democrat scofflaws. The Return. The beauty of these penalties is that they sentence offenders to the pit of partisan rancor that everyone else is trying to rise above.
Those who stand in the way of this unified cleansing should be made to reap the rewards for their hard work.
—Mark Ellis is the author of A Death on the HorizonA novel about political intrigues, cultural upheaval.