Dull or Sharp

As you may know, I’ve been reading and meditating on the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. The current translation I’m reading is by Brian Browne Walker. Every now and then I’ll read a verse that sticks with me and lately it’s the first two stanzas of Verse 58:

When the government is dull and sleepy,
People are wholesome and good.
When the government is sharp and exacting,
People are cunning and mean.

Good rests on bad.
Bad hides within good.
Who knows where the turning point is?

The verse sounds exactly like our current political situation. We have a president who is quite comfortable kicking millions of people off their health care insurance and doesn’t mind cutting taxes for the very rich while keeping the pay for everyone else far below a living wage. It would be one thing if he’s the only one calling for it, but he’s got a Congress that’s happy to help.

On a local level, the Senator from Kentucky Mitch McConnell, hasn’t represented our state since the days of Ronald Reagan. Too many big money interests have purchased him and have given him his “opinions” rather than him representing the people. He’s one of those people that thinks that money is speech, since that’s the type of speech enriches him.

It wasn’t that long ago that you could divide Republicans and Democrats into two camps. Those who represent the cruel and rich and those who represent the people. Now they’re exactly the same. And because cable television news thinks they need confrontation to get viewers, they present the false narrative that a difference exists between the two parties. Except for a few social issues, they are exactly the same. And so the conservative media (let’s face it, there is no liberal media) wants you to believe there is a substantive gulf between them.

And if they’re not spending time on that, it’s the us versus them diatribes of America against Islam or brown people or Native Americans or different people. You remember the quotes like:

  • They hate us for our freedom.
  • They hate us because they hate us.

Dumb and dumber. Admittedly, it makes for sharp and exacting “entertainment” for the people who don’t have a problem with being cunning and mean.

I just hope we’re close to the turning point. I miss the wholesome and good.

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