Imagine, had the celebrated Ms Palin been allowed to approach real power. The onus on the rulership to tell truth and not obfuscate would have been…. …
A long time ago a prophet foretold that the ordinary focus on getting a living would be difficult. Not impossible but not easy.
In the good old days, you would just pop out to the nearest hedge and come back with a rabbit or a bag of nuts, whatever was available or took your fancy. You'd be living near an ocean beach or river bank so your diet would be augmented with fish from what was, for the most part, clean water.
These days the fish have died of disease or have been exterminated. And we don't have hedgerows in Britain these days the way they were once. Nor can you go around to your neighbour to borrow something to tide you over. In most cases we hardly know our neighbours -even in rural areas.
And democratic countries did not engage in genocidal wars.
(Yes they did. But they got away with it.)
But that is not what is rotting the envelope inside which we should be living in peace and good will. What is rotting us from the outside in is the way we deal with emergencies.
Adults, especially the aged, approach things a little more pragmatically than the young. They are not so well equipped to fight, for one thing. But on the other hand they have had time to see where violence gets you.
Having tantrums and deciding matters with violence is for children. After the ruckus, matter still seethe, unless both parties come to realise they were being silly. Then they get over it and are friends again.
Adults want to get over it and be friends again without the preliminaries. And to do that, it pays to try and see things from both sides and try and sort out where a matter is going to lead you in the various courses you have the choice to take.
Would you want to put your future in the hands of people who are violent? When you are confronted on the internet with depressingly awful tenets and jibes by political trolls what is your first reaction?
Go away and leave them to salt the field with stones at their will? To put an alternative option up for argument?
The wise course is not to get tainted yourself. That is the way to madness. Every depressing thing should be viewed as unclean. So wait until it is over. Survive the onslaught and the tirades without demeaning yourself. Then when the muddy waters wash downstream and tired minds can see a little more clearly, have your say.
This is an option taken by the couple at the heart of a controversy and dirt storm raised during the recent US election.
They came out of the woodwork AFTER their names had been dragged through the dirt. But before the matter had been forgotten. This is what they got to say about it:
BILL AYERS: First of all, Bill O’Reilly says that I was in hiding.
I wasn’t in hiding. I was teaching and speaking and writing and doing all the things I do. What I wasn’t doing was commenting on the presidential campaign.
We decided not to do that when this all began, because we couldn’t figure out a way to interrupt what we took to be a profoundly dishonest narrative….
And what’s dishonest about it?
One is, I was not a terrorist.
I never was a terrorist.
And the idea that the Weather Underground carried out terrorism is nonsense.
We never killed or hurt a person. We never intended to. We existed from 1970 to 1976, the last years of the war in Vietnam.
The war in Vietnam was terror on a mass scale, with thousands of people every month being murdered, mostly from the air. And we were doing everything we could to stop it.
JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, Bill, for viewers not familiar with the Weather Underground could you talk about how it developed and what were its goals?
BILL AYERS: I was first arrested opposing the war in Vietnam the year the United States built the war up, 1965.
I was arrested in the draft board with thirty-nine other students trying to disrupt the normal activity of the draft board.
You know, one of the things to note about that arrest is, while thirty-nine of us were arrested and while hundreds of students supported us, thousands of students opposed us, because in 1965 the war was popular.
In retrospect, it’s hard to remember that.
And perhaps most decisive was Vietnam vets coming home and adding energy to the antiwar movement, starting their own antiwar organizations and denouncing the people who had sent them there, telling us, the American people that they were asked to do war crimes on a regular basis as a part of policy, not by accident.
This is the crunch. What do you do if you are young and upset? How do yu react to dtories of genocide? Do you step back and have nothing to do with it? Do you leave it to higher powers? Actually the following isn't about right or wrong it is about difficult times hard to deal with and broken governmet:
"So here was this illegal, immoral war. In 1968, the sitting president announced that he would leave office in order to end the war. We felt that we had run a great victory when he made that announcement in 1968.
Four days after that announcement, King was dead.
A couple of months later, Kennedy was dead.
And a few months after that, it was clear that the war was going to escalate.
And the question was, what do you do? "
So what do you do?
As a professed Christian I can't see how I should get involved in anything like that. As for those engaging in violence, instigating it agitating to send others to fight…
Would you invite people like that into your home?
So why would anyone vote for them?
You wouldn't want anyone you despised too much to invite home to run the government would you. Perhaps pass laws you can't live with? If you wouldn't have them in your house how could you expect them to send ambassadors to opposing countries? How would you expect them to be received?
How much less would you expect their soldiers to be acceptable?
The whole idea is ridiculous.
Certainly violence is not the way. How can someone who professes to be at peace, deal with this? If you saw your neighbour's house being robbed you would tell the police -appealing to the higher authorities and hope they would get there before rape or murder occurred.
Now you are on the edge of the balance. What do you do if the innocent are about to suffer?
That is adifficult one, hard to deal with.