Friday, January 05, 2018 1:52 PM
“Had, Having, and In Quest to Have, Extreme…” (2018Jan05)
It’s complicated—that’s the dernier cri. In past times, ‘complicated’ was criticism enough to dispose of any new idea—especially any new idea in public policy. Nowadays we welcome complexity, mostly, knowing that complex public policies have all kinds of hiding places and loopholes—not to mention the flexibility of goals. Both Democrats and Republicans have come to accept complexity. What choice have they? ‘Simplicity’, in the 21st Century, has only relative meaning.
This is a problem for transparency in government—power structures tend to infest complex policy—internal politics tend to warp motives—authority is often exercised for display purposes. The reasoning behind political positions has been replaced by the motives behind today’s positions—rendering positions moot.
Wllm. Shakespeare’s Sonnet CXXIX:
The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and till action, lust
Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,
Enjoy’d no sooner but despised straight,
Past reason hunted, and no sooner had
Past reason hated, as a swallow’d bait
On purpose laid to make the taker mad;
Mad in pursuit and in possession so;
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;
Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.
All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.
Go ahead—read it again. I read it first when I was a young man—it frightened me. Willy Shakes had laid it all out, plain as words. The true battle for existence was in our vision—could we discern the difference between the instant animal urge and the longer view of lasting fulfillment? And, far more importantly, could we exert the self-control to act on our vision?
Some will say that repressing oneself is unhealthy—that too much self-control is a bad thing. I don’t know—I think self-control is as much a survival trait as good looks or rich folks. The confusion arises with definition (as always). When one’s mind controls one actions—that’s self-control. When one’s mind wars within itself—that’s repression.
America’s present has a sandbox feel to it. I used to play games with kids like Trump—to them, cheating didn’t matter at all—and if they still couldn’t win, they’d knock over the board—and pretend it was an accident—just troubled, nasty kids. But what a boon for all the angry underemployed—here was a President that didn’t care about the rules! He would kick the board over—we could all get a reset. As Natasha used to say, “Stupid American-skis!”
Millennia of history don’t twirl on a dime—Seven-plus billion people don’t come to any one person’s call—and the Federal Government of the United States of America proudly compensates for its youth by its complexity—having, as it does, 50 sovereign states’ rights and laws included within its consideration of federal rights and laws—not to mention the Supreme Court. An experienced, seasoned lawyer/politician with a firm grasp of all this ‘machinery’ would consider the Presidency a daunting task—just ask President Obama. (Sigh.)
We could have put a middle-school student in the Oval Office and she or he would have taken the job more seriously and handled it more carefully—and because of their education, they would be more familiar with the government and the Constitution than Trump. The only thing Trump has ‘reset’ is the complacency among voters—they’ve gotten a close look now at what Trump’s motives are—they’ve heard him contradict himself too often to keep any credibility in his ‘reasoning’.
Fine, there’s the Trumpster-Fire. But that’s not what makes me the most angry. I’m most angry about the Republican majority in the House of Representatives—the three monkeys to the Nth power. They don’t see nuthin…Nuuuthin! Oh, they see trouble with Comey, with the Asst. Atty-Genl., with Mueller—you’d think such eagled-eyed scrutiny might find a fault or two in their team mascot—sorry, I mean president.
And about that Tax Rip-Off Bill—shouldn’t that have been passed in the 90’s, when you could still cite ‘trickle-down’ with a straight face? Passing it now is just a blatant ‘We’re taking your money and giving it to rich people’ dick move. It certainly seems hard to reconcile this Tax BS with any thought or consideration for the growing inequality in income.
Oh—and also, CA passes a legal-weed law and the AG announces plans to start prosecuting? If you GOP scuzzballs don’t have the eggs to impeach Trump, or legalize pot—the least you could do is sanction his AG.
I’ve come to a cynical conclusion—Obama was a one-off— except for him, every politician in the whole world is an idiot. The Democrats have to be idiots to ever let it come to this. The Republicans have to be idiots to keep this hypocrisy-express rolling down the track. Putin has to be an idiot to think his behavior will never have consequences—especially after the recent conviction of that war-criminal at the Hague.
Today’s world is complicated—it requires some geeks—we need to start voting for geeks. Nice ones—not the really competitive ones. Which means we’ll have to carry them into office—they won’t campaign for themselves. It’s time we got some elected officials that don’t want the job. It’s complicated.