Tuesday, January 17, 2017

John Lewis Walked Across A Bridge

Segregation was an evil.  People who protested it did the right thing.  Some of them suffered greatly for it.  John Lewis was one of those people.  I respect what he did, just as I respect the service of John McCain as a Navy pilot and prisoner of war in Vietnam.

My dad kept hounds all his life.  Sometimes a dog would get too old to run coyotes with the pack.  I've seen those "retired" dogs -- blind, deaf, and stove-up, sleeping in the sun, being fed and cared for just like the young dogs that could still run a coyote down.  Dad would tell anyone who asked that such a hound had long ago earned his keep "for the good he had done".

America owes people like McCain and Lewis for the good that they did in their time.  Their time has past.  We are no longer in a cold war with the evil empire of the Soviets, nor are we living in the post-reconstruction, Jim Crow South.  John Lewis and John McCain are no longer serving America; they are serving themselves.  Both, and many others like them, need to retire and live out their twilight years in peace and quiet.

Like old dogs, they have gone blind and deaf.  They lash out instinctively at anything that comes near them.  They can no longer distinguish friend from foe.  Their instincts are not to be trusted, but they refuse to accept that.

They are not blinded by age but by their sense of entitlement.  Obama has the same problem, as do many of the celebrities and personalities with their exalted, vacuous opinions these days.  Though blind and deaf to the realities of life in post-empire America, of life in a post-global world, their sense of entitlement allows them to dictate to the rest of us -- the Deplorables.  That we gave them exactly the response they deserve seems to have enraged them.

It's unfair to compare someone like John Lewis to Meryl Streep.  Lewis, after all, was a part of the historic march in Selma.  His sense of entitlement was earned.  Being entitled to our respect does not make him right.  It also does not make him immune from criticism.

Selma has been under the political control of black people for decades.  It has declined economically and socially, just as have other cities that are majority black like Detroit, St. Louis, and Baltimore.  The leaders in those communities have gained and kept power and, in many cases, enriched themselves by stoking the greivances and the sense of entitlement of their constituencies.

Blaming racism for violence, crime, and poverty is a common theme that leads nowhere.  Another equally useless tack is demanding more expensive government programs.  Those programs, like most of the foreign aid given to third world countries, lines the pockets of the few and the connected while only appeasing pennies trickle down the people actually in need of help.  Thus, the money is never enough, and the victims remain continually aggrieved.

John Lewis and his kind are a part of that race and poverty industry.  Trump was right in calling him out about what is going on in the urban cores around this country.  Lewis could use his voice and his influence to call out the failures of city leaders instead of adding to the division and the very real potential for violence and strife.

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