Friday, July 22, 2016

giving up your enemies

Every once in a while, along the mostly-forgotten and dusty shelves, an old truism will reassert its brightness despite the dust and age and assumption that the lesson has somehow been learned when in fact it has just been saved.

Last night, the Republican presidential convention closed up shop with nominee Donald Trump, a man of much volume and little discernible substance, exhorting an unfilled hall in Cleveland. This morning, there is a small sigh from where I sit: "At least it's over" and the sense of having to endure it all is given a bit of a rest.

It is tiring to endure and endure and endure. The obvious focus of that endurance is Donald Trump's disparaging of presumptive Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton, but the whole political process in this presidential year -- Republican and Democrat -- is so wearing, so alien from the electorate that will pull the voting levers, and so shaming. Where is the relief? There is no relief. There is only enduring it all.

Donald Trump has no policies that I can name. But he can whip up a crowd with his naming of his enemy, Hillary Clinton... love to hate that woman! The crowd cheers. Trump is not ashamed. The crowd is not ashamed. The circle-jerk reaches, if not a crescendo, at least something yummy and pretty loud.

And it ain't just Donald. The winds of the times seem to be filled with the presumption that depicting and defaming an enemy is the same as knowing where your friends and relief reside.

God, what a wonderful feeling -- having an enemy. When friends become scant, relying on an enemy is such a support. Islamic State, communism, anything standing in the way of American exceptionalism ... oh I do love to hate. I do love to rely on it. Seriously.

But the very tendrils of doubt that dimmed the reliability of friends or principles in the past likewise eat away at the enemies of the present: They're wicked and I feel ennobled by pointing them out and relying on them, but ... drip, drip, drip....

And once more, as of a less dusty yore, I am thrown back on  my own fucking responsibility and endurance. 
It is not what others do and do not do that is my concern.
It is what I do and do not do -- that is my concern.
That comes from "The Dhammapada," I believe. But it doesn't matter so much where it comes from as it does whether it's true ... which it is ....

Dust or no dust.

Who dares to give up his friends?
Who dares to give up his enemies?
Who dares to endure?

I'm sorry that there is no other choice, but there is no other choice.


  1. At least we've still got death.

    1. Hell yeah. Have been doing some learning with Cambridge University on what the laboratory assistants are going to do with my cadaver after I opted in the full body donation.