Tuesday, August 14, 2012

One Little Ewe Lamb

“There were two men in one city: the one rich, and the other poor….. “
(II Samuel 12:1-12)

Thus begins the story of King David’s punishment for robbing a simple man of his life and of his one beloved wife. I have had the incredible fortune of being taught the Bible in the City of David, probably a stone throw away from where he perpetrated a sin that haunts his people to this very day. I was taught the Bible not as a divine text, but as a political, historical and philosophical manuscript written by ancient sages, and David’s story was not about the perils of philandering. It was about the disastrous results of social injustice. The story is not a Socialist manifesto. The Bible in its entirety accepts the fact that there are rich men and poor men and David was not admonished for not redistributing his riches equally amongst the poor. The line of decency is crossed when the rich and powerful wantonly decide to take away the poor man’s “one little ewe lamb”, not to love and cherish as the poor man and his family did, but to carelessly slaughter and serve at some casual meal. The predicted future for such rich men and for their people is that “the sword shall never depart from thy house”. Of course, this is just a story, but over the thousands of years since Nathan the Prophet delivered his indictment, many nations and great kingdoms came to experience gruesome violence and ultimately collapsed due to excesses of the rich and powerful, and careless disregard for basic social justice.

Today, America is taking the first step towards joining the pantheon of cruel nations doomed by history to crash and burn. The Grand Old Party of Abraham Lincoln, who went to war with itself to rectify social injustice, is asking the American people to elect the Romney/Ryan pair to the highest offices in the land, based on their solemn promise to hunt down all remaining little ewe lambs of the poor and serve them up butchered and dressed as an afternoon snack for the rich men they represent, because the only way for poor people to survive and avert the wrath of the rich is to make the sacrifices necessary for feeding the rich men’s insatiable appetite for tender shish-kebab.

I am not an economist or a financial expert of any sort, and I have no appreciation for the fine differences between long term and short term capital gains, or the multitude of tangled terms used to obscure intended and unintended realities from common folks who have not experienced any type of gains in half a century. I am perfectly willing to accept the obvious fact that the US is spending more than it’s making and that we must make more and that, at least temporarily, we must tighten our collective belts. The Romney/Ryan notion of fiscal responsibility is placing the rich folks, each with his own private belt, at the soft center of the beltless masses of poor people, all surrounded by one national belt, which is to be tightened at the same time as the epicenter of wealthy individuals loosen their belts by a few notches. The incredibly well calculated idea is that the circumference of all of us can be reduced while the wealthy center is actually increasing its girth. Millions of faceless and nameless poor people will of course suffocate to death during this geometric wizardry if allowed to proceed, but the captains and titans in our midst will thrive, and promise to eventually share a bit of their good fortunes with the surviving cannon fodder in their immediate vicinity.

If you are one of the fewer and fewer citizens who are not poor, and if you think that when the Great Republican belt tightening exercise commences, you could wrestle yourself a cozy place close enough to the center to allow you to keep your belt where it is today, or if you’re lucky maybe even relax it a notch or two, while shielding your eyes and ears from your neighbors getting crushed at the periphery, remember that this great nation was created as “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”, and God has spoken on this matter over five thousand years ago, and regardless of your beliefs, history is teaching us that nothing that was built on social injustice and “that which is evil” can stand for very long, and no matter how many fortunes were bestowed on a man or a nation in the past, once “the poor man’s lamb” is not safe from the selfish greed of the rich and powerful, sooner or later calamity always follows.

The 2012 Presidential election is not about different fiscal approaches to the national deficit. It’s not about efficiency of private markets as opposed to incompetence of public solutions. It’s not about health care or Obamacare. It’s not even about gay marriage or abortions. This upcoming election is unfortunately about politics as usual versus sheer evil. And it is your decision to make on November 6th. Please vote.

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