Within the first five minutes, usually on C-Span, every Republican governor, senator, congressman trots out The Party mantras:
Spending is bad! Gov’ment is bad! Taxes are bad!
Badness to the east and to the west, to the north and to the south. The rant never changes. It makes no difference what high or lowly office a Republican holds, which part of the country she’s from, single or married, day or night, the same litany: Bad! Bad! Bad! How can that be? Nothing ever stays the same in this world. The most obvious fact about our planet is ceaseless change. A couple thousand years ago, Heraclitus nailed this fact: “You can’t step into the same river twice.” Poet Robert Epp joins the philosopher in recognizing “permanent flux.”
Heraclitus claimed change is the only reality.
Since everything’s in constant motion
the entire world is locked in permanent flux –
the single constant throughout the universe.
So far, so good. Poet and philosopher agree, “Change is the only reality…the single constant throughout the universe.” And then our poet comes up with a dazzling insight:
Being destined to exist in a maelstrom of motion
urges some to cast their lot with certitude.
That allows them the self-deception that change
is an illusion only certainty can trump.
In his Epistle to the Hebrews, St. Paul writes, “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and today and forever.” In the hymn, Abide with Me, a Lutheran pleads, “…when other helpers fail and comfort flees, O, thou who changest not, abide with me.”
And then we get this Illusionist blast across evangelical lands, “A changeless Christ in a changing world.”
The Commandments Moses brought down from the mountain 3,500 years ago, which Martin Luther, in the 16th century, wrote out word for word in his Small Catechism, and I learned word for word in the 20th century and can repeat word for word in the 21st, these commandments come through the centuries unchanged. Like Christ, they remain the same. How then do the Republicans avoid the maelstrom of motion?
They go moral!
They shout out “Bad!” to any political action proposed by The Left, tirelessly firing moral broadsides against the President and the Democrats, a vicious flotilla of Washington sting rays out to paralyse. Saying No! is the only action sanctioned.
Every moral system is man-made, often disguised as decrees issued from On High. A mountain works just fine. Without “objectivity” based on The Hypothesis of Comprehensibility protecting against self-deception, there is an open market for Illusionists. As for Critical Thinking, it’s nowhere to be heard on the planet. Thales comes into the story very late. Levi-Strauss observed that the lowliest tribe in the forest, on the verge of extinction, remained convinced that it possessed absolute and permanent moral truth. Of course, each tribe had its own gods, sacrad traditions, rites of worship, even as there are Protestant denominations by the dozen. Each tribe experienced the vicissitudes of history uniquely. However, all tribes shared the same Moral Sense, a biologic structure that shaped man’s thinking for a million years.
If you are certain it won’t compromise your good spirits radiating from The State of the Union, you can tune in to Right Wing Illusionists any day of the week on C-Span.
Without a vision, the people perish, said the prophet Micah.