Despite his brief thirty-one years, Franz Schubert was one of the most prolific composers of the classical age. Among other compositions, he had more than six hundred secular songs (lieder) to his credit. “Die Forelle” is one of the most charming and best known of these.
I’m fairly certain that when Schubert composed this song he was thinking little more than of an encounter between the fish and fisherman – which ended badly for the trout. But as I listened to this lovely song I thought to myself that there is a clear analogy between the story Schubert told and our world today.
Perhaps you’ve heard President Obama’s recent statement that, “This is the world’s most tranquil period in human history.” I know that he recently went to Colorado to fund raise. Perhaps he stopped at one of the recently opened marijuana shops and picked up a stash of weed.
Domestically we have an influx of illegals entering the country. Sadly, some of them are trying to escape horrible conditions in their home countries and we all, if we are compassionate, have concern for them – whether they are children or adults. But before we offer our largesse to these visitors, ought we not have at least as much concern for our own citizens – particularly our black citizens – who live in our inner cities and are subject to as much violence as any of these newcomers? Two thirds of American voters believe that is the case.
In addition to NSA spying on everyone in the world with a phone or an email account we now find out that the CIA which is supposed to operate only internationally has been prying into the private affairs of U. S. senators. More is being revealed daily that the “phony scandal” at the IRS seems to be a calculated plan to destroy the administration’s opposition politically. Whether the sole perpetrator of the conspiracy was Lois Lerner or whether others were both willing and involved participants remains to be learned.
We as a nation have now given Obamacare it’s worst approval rating since it began to be implemented. This FUBAR law has yet to see its most important implications but those will be coming soon as insurers review their pool of customers (as best they can as there are many who think they are insured but are regularly being denied coverage since healthcare.gov’s back end still isn’t function correctly despite the system’s $800 million cost) and consumers who don’t like the law now are in for a big surprise as they receive their premium notices for 2015 and the employer mandate kicks in finally.
Internationally – well, where do we even start? There is a mini war going on in Ukraine. Two weeks after the downing of MH 17 there are still the bodies of eighty victims rotting in the fields. An Ebola epidemic is breaking out in west Africa – with possible worldwide consequences should it be exported. Hamas has already broken this weekend’s 72 hour cease fire with Israel – hours after it was adopted. ISIS claims to have taken over and is now in control of Benghazi, Libya. This list is far from complete. If this is tranquility then it is hard for me to imagine what turmoil must look like.
With this litany of issues that are fomenting, what do we see our government doing? The quick answer is that like our clever fisherman who stirred up the waters to muddy the hapless trout’s perspective, the administration is trying to focus the public’s attention on things like a purported impeachment effort (this is pure hype) and the injustice that heaps opprobrium on any caring citizen because of the Washington Redskins team name. To quote one of my favorite political pundits of all time, Charlie Brown, “Good grief.”
The president and his administration have added an entirely new meaning to the expression, “Muddying up the waters.” It’s only a shame that those who voted for a second four year Obama administration and now regret that decision hadn’t the perspicacity to see what so many of us realized in 2008 and got hooked when the waters were still clear.