Thursday, December 27, 2012

Philosophical Cliff Notes

I am breaking my New Year's resolution before New Year’s is even upon us. I promised I would turn many cheeks, that I would temper my temper and know that I could not change many things but that, at least, I would possess, as the Serenity Prayer states, the wisdom to change the things I can. I promised I would keep my anger in check against those politically imperfect whom I perceive to be the enemy of the good.
I advocate for the poor, the disabled and the dispossessed; for the hungry, for the middle class; for those who lost their jobs; for those who lost their homes; for those who could not seek medical attention and for those for whom most of the great wise men in centuries past say they cared.

Much of Christian philosophical thought appeals to me. Jesus said the first shall be last and the last first. He bestowed hope on the hopeless and eased guilt for one's station in life. It is easier, he said, for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. He fed the hungry, healed the sick and preached love not hate. He said if a man smite you on one cheek turn to him the other also and he, of course, said to love even one's enemies. Following his commands is difficult but I love what he is alleged to have taught. I am neither a Christian nor even a theist but I am a human being who wants to help even when helping seems a distant hope. Ted Kennedy eulogized his brother Robert and said his brother "saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it." To that I say bravo.

Alas, I am human. Yet again, I shake my fist in anger at a Republican Party which claims to believe in their Christian faith but who acts the antithesis of it. My heart burns with rage as the so called "fiscal cliff" draws near. Danger lurks in the distance but the opposition will not compromise. Republicans advocate for those who need no advocate. They care nothing for those who get so little but suffer so much as the merciless weapons of Wall Street have killed middle class hope. My anger knows no softening as the Republican position against the middle class turns to cement in the sands of cruelty. My fury is cultivated when compromise is eschewed but ignorance and racist thought is championed.

I want to turn the other cheek and run from my fiery rage but when one possesses no more cheeks to turn revenge is the only fire escape. I urge you to exact your pound of Shakespearean flesh by contacting your elected officials. Tell them to tax the rich and by saving the middle class save the nation. If that fails the ballot box in 2014 is available to throw the Tea Bag Republican Party overboard and rid our land of this intractable plague and terrible uncompromising scourge.

That is my hope and that is my prayer. There will, however, be an end to our imperial power if our nation offers no safety net for our poor and our sick. There will be no imperial power if our middle class fails. There WILL be an end to this American exceptional experiment as the angel of death shows its ugly face in the halls of Congress. There WILL be a high price to pay if a fiscal compromise is not reached. Falling off the cliff awaits and gives rise to the fear in me that the meek will not inherit the earth as Jesus said they would because man continually sows the wind and reaps the whirlwind!


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