I am a liberal in politics and religion. All of my friends know this. I am a seeker. They know this, too. I have never been comfortable with easy answers, with the accepted truth of the majority, with well-meaning but trite words of comfort. I want to find some deeper meaning to it all. I want to know there is a meaning.
Beyond the shallowness of our current day there has to be more. More
than the acrimony and alienation between so many of us. More than the
shameless meanness of our leaders. More than the materialistic gluttony,
the voracious urge for empty consumption of so many of us. We’re all
appetite and no provision.
Something has turned us sour, spoiled our sense of humanity, and left us rotting inside our vacant rituals.
The election of a president in this country is now a tawdry spectacle
of infantile behavior. The candidates preen and harangue and offer us
not examples of capable leadership or even decent human conduct.
Instead, they divide us with caustic rhetoric meant to demean the other
candidate or candidates. They play up and venerate the game of us vs.
them. They tell us what to think even if it makes no sense; even if it
compromises our best impulses; even if it leaves us feeling demoralized
and loathsome for following it.
Politics has always been a shady
business here and everywhere. Good people with good intentions wanting
to be elected to change the system either get ignored or ultimately
rejected, or else they find themselves once inside the belly of the
beast becoming a beast too. Governing is no longer a high honor, or even
a reasonable act. It has become simply commerce for all of those
involved; a money machine for the most outrageous acts of corruption and
gangster conduct imaginable. Members of Congress no longer work for the
people they represent. Now they enter every day into a dark world of
exploitation and pay offs. They work for indecent lobbyists, for snake
oil hedge funders, for banking and Wall Street barons who either lost or
never possessed a moral code, for giant corporations who use, entice,
and manipulate Congress into the dirtiest kind of underhanded deal
making possible all for the sleazy goal of enriching one another at the
expense of the rest of the country. This is our political system.
Fraudulent and ruined.
And why do we tolerate this mindless
pursuit of ongoing wars? Europe has turned into a cataclysm of refugees
fleeing their homes and birthplaces leaving behind all that identifies
them as the people they are in order to escape the slaughter of their
children and their own annihilation. Syria; Iraq; Afghanistan—and
others—are decaying places where millions are running for their lives
from bloody scenes of shocking barbarity. War has destroyed their homes,
their cities, their lives. For what? What are these wars accomplishing
across a blood splattered world groggy with the screams of terrified
children? And why do we continue to support politicians who still
believe in spite of the human devastation and the obliterating of once
beautiful countries right before our eyes that war is an answer to
Racial bigotry. White power. The bullying of
immigrants. Refusal to treat the undocumented as human beings and
instead leave them in fear as though they are our prisoners in a land
they labor endlessly to keep running. Where are leaders who will end
this miserable indifference to people? Where are the men and women who
will ask of us a higher calling to our living? Who can help bring us out
of this sad deplorable muddling through?
We are a tired
Democracy. Fatigue has fallen on us and left us bewildered and
vulnerable. We have to fight harder for a better country, for a more
There are those old lines from the poet John Masefield that nip at me:
“I have seen flowers come in stony places
And kind things done by men with ugly faces,
And the gold cup won by the worst horse at the races,
So I trust, too.”
I want to believe there are still a few we can trust to guide us
through to better days. They may not be the most attractive or the
loudest or in with the influential and the wealthy. But they are real
and decent and will work for the whole nation. They are here and they
are available. They can be elected if we choose them. That’s my hope.
It’s about all we’ve got left. A fragile, weary hope.
© 2016 Timothy Moody