My plan here at The Pondering Pig is to resolutely continue to fiddle while Rome burns, even though it didn’t work out that well for old Nero. I’m trying to hold the hopelessness feeling at bay one more day.
You know the feeling? It whispers at you like this: “It’s too late for democracy, too late. The will of the people has been corrupted, they can’t see beyond the end of their nose any more. The super-rich with pockets deep as mineshafts influence (buy) our representatives to do their corporate bidding. Our economy is dependent on waging war, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s nightmare about the rise of the military-industrial complex came true. Our educated class never studied the Constitution and can’t defend the Bill of Rights because they don’t know what it says. Our telecommunication industry slathers for profits that will come from spying on citizens for the US government. Our well-spoken Democrat golden boy candidate – the one so many put their last hope into – voted to exonerate the telcom execs who violated the Bill of Rights by spying on citizens without a warrant. And on and on. I could do this for days once I get going. I haven’t even started on our besieged planet. It’s that hopeless feeling!
Where’s Abe Lincoln? Could someone tell him to come up front? He’s wanted onstage. Or better yet, where’s Jeff Smith, the idealistic boy scout leader who took truth, justice and the American Way so seriously that he managed to bring down a state’s corrupt political machine through the force of his belief. (If you’ve never seen Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, or if you saw it a long time ago – it speaks to the moment, believe me. Worth a fresh look.)
Here is one of Jeff’s key speeches , which, courtesy of IMDB, I quote in its entirety:
Jefferson Smith: [His voice very hoarse] Just get up off the ground, that’s all I ask. Get up there with that lady that’s up on top of this Capitol dome, that lady that stands for liberty. Take a look at this country through her eyes if you really want to see something. And you won’t just see scenery; you’ll see the whole parade of what Man’s carved out for himself, after centuries of fighting. Fighting for something better than just jungle law, fighting so’s he can stand on his own two feet, free and decent, like he was created, no matter what his race, color, or creed. That’s what you’d see. There’s no place out there for graft, or greed, or lies, or compromise with human liberties. And, uh, if that’s what the grownups have done with this world that was given to them, then we’d better get those boys’ camps started fast and see what the kids can do. And it’s not too late, because this country is bigger than the Taylors, or you, or me, or anything else. Great principles don’t get lost once they come to light. They’re right here; you just have to see them again!
Go look for them yourself, and let me know what you find. Meanwhile, tomorrow we’ll be back with more on Mick and His Mates or somethng equally inane.