Friday, April 6, 2007

Coyote Ugly

On the basis of a careful review of what the pols, clergy and talking heads are saying, I have come to the dispassionate conclusion that two forces vie for our allegiance.

In the blue states, stupid, cowardly, slanderous, lying, elitist tax-and-spend liberals, traitors, sodomites, and termites plot with Satan and the trial lawyers. They kill the unborn and hug trees. Some are Oh-Obama-struck; others Hillary-stricken. Apparently, they will all burn in hell.

In the red states, stupid, lying, greedy warmongers, imperialists and globalists walk with Jesus and Halliburton's board. They kill the living and clear-cut trees. They careen in confusion in Bush-despair, Cheney / Rove embarrassment, and soft-side daddy 9/11.0 Giuliani and flak-jacket McCain hope. They, they assume, will go to heaven.

Politics has gotten coyote ugly. Better to cut off your arm and slink off than face it in the light of morning. As a result, more and more Americans have done just that – they’ve cut off their arms, but instead of quietly slinking off, they’re making their disgust and the abandonment of the coyote known. Their refusal to engage on issues, with candidates or their elected pols makes them feel clean and unsullied. Purified even. For many, the ballot itself is toxic – thus the dismal percentage of people voting – half the voting age public.

While the public ducks from the globs of paint and mud being thrown, it’s all just chucked around more promiscuously – with hopes that as it lands it might capture the public’s attention.

The coyote pens op-ed pieces, columns and books devoted to hysterical name-calling. He clamors to appear on or host prime time and Sunday morning babbling punditry shows. Institutes and foundations churn out his relentless words, words, words, giving the coyote’s invective and diatribe an air of respectability. In Congress and statehouses and the back rooms of each, laws are made out of this slop. In the coyote’s White House, governors’ mansions, and city halls, the coyote’s minions turn it into speeches and policy.

But there is another way. Lincoln spoke of having “malice toward none,” King spoke of loving his enemies. And before them, in The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare tutored:

Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That in the course of justice none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.

And this is what Gandhi said:

My experience has shown me that we win justice quickest by rendering justice to the other party.

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