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Thu Dec 7, 2017, 10:09 PM

Pleas Please Me [View all]

“The ends justify the means.”
Ovid's Heroides; 10 bc

The above quote is generally attributed to Machiavelli's “The Prince,” though the phrase is not found there. It has, however, been found in the actions of empires and mob families. And we witness that mindset in America today, in both the republican party and especially in the Trump administration.

Other historical figures have held that the means are ends. Perhaps most famously was Mahatma Gandhi. In our nation's past, the most outstanding example would be Martin Luther King. More recently, in the context of social-political conflicts, Michelle Obama noted that “when they go low, we go high.”

I believe that they were right. Sometimes, it's difficult for me to keep that Truth in mind, for two reasons. First, I'm imperfect, and second, the social-political reality is frequently frustrating. On a few recent nights, I've walked outside and looked up at the stars, and thought that while “no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should,” things seem pretty screwed up here on earth.

It's easy for me to identify republicans in general, and specimens like Roy Moore and Donald Trump as toxic. That's not only okay, it's accurate. Nothing wrong with that thinking. Much of what they do is beyond disgusting. And so it can, at times, be a struggle to not feel hatred for them.

I have been a registered member of the Democratic Party my entire adult life. Still, there have been individual democrats – on the local, state, and federal levels – that I didn't have much respect for. The overall numbers are relatively small, of course, but they have always existed. And when I've felt that they have betrayed democratic principles, it is easy to feel contempt for them.

Today, I read through a number of OP/threads from DU community members on the case of Senator Al Franken. There are, of course, a wide range of opinions. I feel no need to express my own, as it is of no more value than anyone's here. But I will say that in the larger context of what our nation is confronted with today, as individuals at the grass roots level, we should remember Ms. Obama's words: “When they go low, we go high.”

In my opinion, the most important issue facing the country is the Trump-Russian scandal. It is an ugly example of mobsters who believe that the ends justify the means. And that means they would do anything to access the power to enrich themselves, to the detriment of the nation. They are indeed the lowest of the low ever to inhabit the executive branch.

At the same time, we are seeing Mr. Mueller's team investigating the Trump mob. And while we all would prefer that this unfolded at a more rapid rate, the fact is that it actually has been going faster than previous investigations of executive crimes. Two indictments have been made public. Two guilty pleas, as well. More, the case is picking up steam, and by the end of February, forum members will be pleased.

Hence, as I stood outside tonight, looking up at the stars, I knew that much of the responsibility for how the effort to revive and heal our constitutional democracy is firmly on the shoulders of the grass roots. In a sense, that's no different than with the social issues regarding sexual harassment: it's a social dysfunction that is not going to be “cured” by politicians in Washington, DC. No, the legislative branch has long been infected by this disease. Far too long to deal with it on their own. It can best be dealt with by the grass roots, by socially conscious people who engage in the political system, especially at election time.

And this means that we all can benefit from asking ourselves if we really believe that the means are not distinct from the ends. If Michelle Obama's advice is something that we hold on to when things are tough. If we do, then we don't continue to serve up the rancid bacon of “refusing to forgive” and work with democrats who supported a different candidate in one of the previous presidential primaries. No, that type of nonsense is only found at the lowest potentials for the Democratic Party. And we need to go much higher.

We have urgent issues to be focusing on right now. And we have a lot of important elections coming up in 2018. I'm hoping to do my best. That includes attending a local committee breakfast on Saturday. It involves organizing for dealing with current issues. And it is all connected with preparing for 2018, which is almost here.

H2O Man

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H2O Man Dec 2017 OP
spanone Dec 2017 #1
H2O Man Dec 2017 #4
spanone Dec 2017 #6
H2O Man Dec 2017 #12
sprinkleeninow Dec 2017 #18
NRaleighLiberal Dec 2017 #2
H2O Man Dec 2017 #5
NRaleighLiberal Dec 2017 #7
H2O Man Dec 2017 #13
coeur_de_lion Dec 2017 #3
H2O Man Dec 2017 #8
shanti Dec 2017 #27
H2O Man Dec 2017 #35
coeur_de_lion Dec 2017 #36
panader0 Dec 2017 #9
H2O Man Dec 2017 #14
Mme. Defarge Dec 2017 #10
H2O Man Dec 2017 #15
Mme. Defarge Dec 2017 #17
H2O Man Dec 2017 #24
babylonsister Dec 2017 #11
H2O Man Dec 2017 #16
sprinkleeninow Dec 2017 #19
H2O Man Dec 2017 #21
Solly Mack Dec 2017 #20
H2O Man Dec 2017 #22
Solly Mack Dec 2017 #28
Maeve Dec 2017 #23
H2O Man Dec 2017 #29
bullwinkle428 Dec 2017 #25
H2O Man Dec 2017 #31
Me. Dec 2017 #26
H2O Man Dec 2017 #32
Me. Dec 2017 #34
malaise Dec 2017 #30
H2O Man Dec 2017 #33