Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Abstractions vs. Flesh and Blood Human Beings
Two things I’ve been meaning to talk about: abstraction vs flesh and blood human beings, and the person with his finger on the nuclear trigger. Both of these of course, highlight reasons not to support the current Republican brand. Just want to be up front about that. A caveat first: note that I’ve specified the current Republican brand. And further, there are people within the Republican Party, who are working to change both the substance and the image of the current brand.
The person with his finger on the nuclear trigger: this is about who you want to entrust with the power for nuclear war; which of the two candidates is best qualified to make the decision to start a nuclear war—the so-called business man or the President? The President has had his steady finger on the nuclear trigger for nearly four years. He may only have been a Senator before, but at least as a Senator, he had a sense of foreign policy and treaties and nuclear arms limitation. Compare that to the so-called ‘job creating’ corporate raider, ‘business man’ (as if running a business, seemingly any kind of business, is comparable to running a nation).
Many of us need to step back from our abstract, fanatical ideological hate and blame for a moment and think about what’s at stake here. We’re going to elect the person who can start a nuclear war! Which one of the two candidates do you really think has the skills, temperament, experience and background to be trusted with that awesome challenge?
Abstraction vs flesh and blood human beings. There are millions of real, flesh and blood people, millions of them, with flesh and blood just like yours and mine, badly hurting and needing our help and support right now, in spite of the Federal budget deficit and pledges not to raise taxes. Wouldn’t you want help, support and compassion if you were one of them?
Shakespeare had Shylock say, “if you prick me, do I not bleed?” Not only are these real people bleeding; they suffer, often silently, in agonies of shame, pain and self-loathing. They hunger, they love, they care, they want the same things you and I want: peace, joy, good health, opportunity, family and community. They want these things, need these things, deserve these things now, simply by virtue of their humanity, the humanity we all share.
Abstractions and ideologies feel nothing, want nothing and suffer not. In fact, abstractions such as political ideologies, especially current Republican brand ideologies, deny our humanity, are not real, not human, have no compassion and no humanity. A commitment to extreme political ideologies, instead of compassion for our brothers and sisters and the planet, is a betrayal of our own humanity. There, but for the grace of God, go I.
Abstractions have a place. Extreme political ideological abstractions such as those espoused by the current Republican brand also have a place, just as mosquitoes, snakes, spiders, death and disease have places. But please, please, those of you who support such hurtful, blameful abstractions over flesh and blood people, be aware of what you’re doing and the impact your beliefs have on your fellow, flesh and blood human beings right now.