Some believe it is a testament to the end. Others believe it is the marker of a new beginning. Without doubt, in the wink of an eye, we will all find out the truth, or not, depending on which view is correct. In this matter there is uncertainty.
But about one thing there is no such lack of clarity.
History teaches us that when a people and those in political power abandon principle and virtue and morality; when common courtesy and compassion have no bearing on the way they conduct themselves; when truth is something that can be manipulated and falsehood is something that falls from everyone’s lips, it is a sign of the beginning of the end.
It happened in Rome, the Byzantine and Ottoman and Mogul Empires. And now is it happening in America?
That is a disturbing question and not one that I pose easily. It is or at least should be disquieting to every thoughtful American. Indeed, I believe that every thoughtful American recognizes the potential for disaster should we continue down our present path. But how many among us are there who consider the perils ahead – and how many simply go through their lives, persuaded by the mass psychology and desire to be part of the group and, like the lemmings follow each other over the cliff – taking down the rest of us with them?
There is a specific phenomenon which caused me to write this post. That is the campaign ads which are currently being broadcast – specifically, some of the President’s ads.
I realize that in any campaign the opponents are going to manipulate facts to their own personal advantage. Although I don’t like that I do expect it. But when outright lies about an opponent are broadcast it is time for any and every person of conscience to cry out – STOP! THIS IS TOO MUCH.
Sadly, there are very few in the Peanut Gallery shouting that.
There is a reason for that – a sad reason. We elect people whom we think of as being like ourselves – who thus will be able to represent us and our interests. So if we as individuals have abandoned principle and decency – if that is how we conduct our personal lives – it is only reasonable to expect that we will vote for people of the same ilk. And we have.
The President’s camp quickly distanced itself from a PAC ad which accused Governor Romney of indirectly causing the death of a woman to cancer by denying her health insurance benefits.
(First fact, we lose thousands of people a year to cancer who are fully covered with insurance benefits).
“The Obama campaign didn’t write that ad or have knowledge of it.”
(Second fact, they met with the husband of the deceased several months earlier and heard his story – which has changed a few times in the telling).
Is there no longer a requirement to report news events honestly?
(Third fact, this is one of the worst examples of “yellow journalism” and any reporter who published this sort of unsubstantiated story would well deserve to be fired by the editor of his newspaper).
This sort of campaign is one that small, spiteful people, bullies conduct. Find a victim, run in and throw a few stones and then run back into hiding, denying any knowledge of how the victim got her bruises.
It is the same response we would expect from a person at a party to exhibit who suffered from flatulence, releasing the gas in his body and then looking around the room to see who is the source of the odor.
This is not the campaign of a statesman. It might not even qualify to meet the low standards of a politician. It is the campaign of a self-absorbed thug who has no greater goal than to achieve his own objectives, whatever the cost or by whatever the means. It is unworthy of a person who either holds or aspires to the office of President of the United States.
Rome, the Byzantine, Ottoman and Mogul Empires and now, perhaps, America?
“Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for you and me.”