The peak of the foliage season has past, although I can still eek some beauty from the vistas if I remind myself to keep my eyes open. Although the glory of what I call “Sugar Autumn” has past, there is a more subtle beauty in the russets of what I call “Oak Autumn,” even as the year’s first snow flakes mix in with a cold rain.
Even where the wind has ripped the leaves from the taller trees, there is what I call “Under-story Autumn” occurring in the trees that grew in the shade. (I have written elsewhere how the trees growing in the shade of their elders leaf out a week earlier and shed leaves a week later than their elders, perhaps due to a nuance of micro-climate, and therefore have two weeks of sunshine each year, untroubled by elder’s shade.) (Obvious symbol for future sonnet.)
However at times the sheer gray dreariness of autumn can overwhelm, in which case I simply go with the flow, and wallow in the sheer misery of it all.
In order to cultivate a proper blues-singer sulk, it pays to listen to the news of the American presidential campaign, listening to both PBS and Right-wing-radio. This could depress a bluebird in June.
One of the most depressing things is a certain attitude
some many have, that deems voters like me idiots. The president referred to me as a “bitter clinger,” and the democratic candidate called me “deplorable.” The right wing seems to consider me part of the “sheeple”. A bumpkin like myself, and indeed all but those who live in high places, are part of “fly over country”, inhabited by people who don’t really matter, because they don’t really think (according to some snobs).
Well, it just so happens I do think. I happen to be relatively powerless, in terms of material things the big-shots care about, but I do matter, and, for a little while longer at least, I am part of a nation which believes a fellow with an IQ of 70 has the same one vote as a genius with an IQ of 160, and a person who is flat broke, after paying his bills on time, gets the same one vote as a billionaire. We are all created equal. There is no place for a so-called “Elite” in America.
Even as I stormed, thinking these thoughts, I was confronted by one of my less than smart deeds, which proves I am no genius.
Some 20 years ago I was turning what was a stable built in the 1800’s into a kitchen-dining room, and faced a problem involving attaching the kitchen drains into the existing septic system. The drain would have to go uphill, or I could blast through bedrock, or….
Well, there was an existing drain to a sort of whitewater well, built, I suppose, for a vanished sink where stable-hands washed their hands in the 1800’s. (The only sign of the vanished sink were some old lead pipes, not connected to anything.) I supposed I was stretching “codes” a bit, but I figured I could claim that the old drain was “grandfathered”, and therefore get away with using the old whitewater well as a leech field for the new kitchen sink.
The idea worked, until, well, 20 years past. That happened to be 20 years of little bits of food being washed from plates, some of which was not caught by the drain’s screen, and instead got flushed down the kitchen drain each time we did the dishes. (With my large family, it could be a lot of dishes.) Then my wife recently mentioned the drain had gotten very slow, and indeed had basically stopped working.
I knew darn well the well was packed with an accumulation of stinking sludge, but didn’t much want to face the mess, so I tried various super-bacteria that are suppose to eat all stuff in your septic tanks. It didn’t work, and my wife will only be patient for so long. So there was no way around the mess I had created. I had to go out in the cold rain and pry the lid off the well and start shoveling the reeking sludge out into five-gallon-buckets. And of course I pulled a muscle in my back, shoveling at such an awkward angle.
After I was done the kitchen sink did work, and, as we are no longer raising five children with voracious appetites, it will likely be more than 20 years before the dry well is again filled, at which point I’ll be long gone. However the pulled muscle in my back made me walk like Mrs. Wiggens. (Only watch the first two minutes of the skit below, to see how I walked.)
None of this proves I am a particularly brilliant person. However it does prove I am humble, and do what it takes to get by, and am definitely not one of the “Elite”. For one thing, though our president can talk about “shovel-ready jobs,” the one time he was asked to use a shovel for a publicity sound-byte, the scene was embarrassing, because it was painfully obvious he had never used a shovel in his life. And second, I was unlike the Elite because, when I made a stinking mess because of my nearsightedness, I cleaned up my mess, even if it got my clothes dirty and made me walk funny.
The Elite, who like to think of themselves as “the ruling class”, have made an incredible mess, and are incapable of cleaning it up. This is because they haven’t a clue how things are done, by ordinary people. They don’t see how a multitude of ordinary deeds allow ordinary things to happen. When the Elite click a light switch on a wall, they have no real idea of the coal miners’, the power plant workers’, the lineman-for-the-county’s, or the electricians’, lives and livelihoods. This haughty ignorance allows the Elite to come up with cockamamie concepts involving closing coal mines and coal-fired-power plants and running “the grid” on turbines and solar cells that are useless when winter is cold, dark and calm. The Elite only can speak of alternative energy because they live in an alternative universe, sort of like the alternative universe the character “Bizarro” lived in, in the old superman comics.
One of the most bizarre aspects of the Elite’s way-of-seeing involves what Wikileaks has exposed. Much that ordinary people suspected, but felt might be paranoid suspicion, has been exposed as everyday reality the Elite embrace. The corruption of the Clintons’ pay-to-play is astounding. And the saddest thing is the corruption apparently became so everyday that many involved forgot what the alternative looked like. The decency of a square deal, where men have slapped palms or shaken hands after an agreement for hundreds of years, like honest men, has been forgotten to a degree where politicians think you must be a naive child, if you mention an honest handshake. Instead all is under-the-table intrigue, and sly and slimy stuff. There is no shame in bribery. Bribery is part of being “Elite”. It is little wonder they can’t care for the poor, for the poor have no spare money to bribe with.
The Elite have drifted a long way from the founding principle of our nation, “All men are created equal.” To be blunt, the Elite resemble royalty, and resemble what our founding father’s revolted against. If our constitution was drafted by people who disliked the idea of a privileged class lording over their fellow man, the Elite are enemies of the Constitution, for their main focus is lording-it-up.
The danger of such lording can involve a dismissal of fellow men as “inferior”, or “lower classes” or “untouchables”. This is unspiritual and inhumane to begin with, and often leads to genocide of one sort or another. As soon as you dismiss a fellow human, you are disobeying the advise of the greatest saints. You are not loving your enemy. You are not even loving your neighbor.
Rather than the stupidity of the Elite, I think it might be nicer to focus on the wisdom of our Founding Fathers, who dared stand up against the “political correctness” of their time, and say “all men are created equal.”
As soon as you accept “equality” as a belief, you affect a tremendous difference in how you treat others. It transcends the physical. You cannot measure it with dollars. It is magnificent, beautiful, and profound.
Although I am educated in economics, this is not a matter that can be measured in such dismal terms. Rather it involves stuff that is politically incorrect, for it involves Truth and Beauty of the highest order. Why? Because, as soon as you state, “All men were created equal”, you are saying there was a Creator.
Back when I was an Atheist, I still believed we had a Creator, and His name was Big Bang. I still was American enough to believe Big Bang gave every man certain inalienable rights, just as our Founding Fathers believed. Big Bang never approved the creation of a so-called “Elite.”
Why not? Because Big Bang created every man with a gift. Some gifts make a ton of money, but Mother Theresa had a gift that never made a cent. It is not our duty to stand in judgement, and say one man has a gift worth saving, while another deserves genocide. Rather our duty is to treat every man as an equal.
Now, if you are to treat every man as an equal, a bribe is impossible. Just because one man has money and another has none doesn’t mean you stop you treating them as equal. You look to their true abilities and true talents, when arriving at any sort of decision. You arrive at your judgments based on Truth.
Judging from Wikileaks, Hillary Clinton worships money; bribes are ordinary day-to-day business; and to her honesty is a weakness; her lies are epic. Does this make her Elite?
Such consequences are a perfectly natural result of democracy, which includes all people as part of its body. The Clintons are as natural as pus. From time to time our body needs to reject, and when it does so it creates an abscess of pus. Hillary Clinton symbolizes that abscess. In fact, the very idea of “an Elite” symbolizes that abscess. It represents a carbuncle the USA must drain, or else see gangrene set in.
Donald Trump doesn’t fit the bill, if we are looking for a second coming of the Messiah, Savior, Rasool, or Avatar. However if you are looking for a gutsy American, full of flaws but equal to the rest of us, he is the only chance we have. When he says he will try to “drain the swamp” in Washington he actually is saying he will lance a pus-filled boil. It will not be pretty.
However it is really our last chance. Just as my drains stopped working when my cesspool got too full, government stops working when the crap gets too deep.
I hope to write a lot more about the wisdom of Truth, of the beauty of treating your neighbors as equals, as a people created by a wise Creator, (even if they are not friendly in return), but at this point I am facing a deadline.
It boils down to this: Democracy involves equality that allows no one to call themselves “Elite”. We must either defeat the Elite, and delete the Elite from our government, or they will do their best to make us mere slaves, chained to the oars of a rotting and sinking ship.