he who knows does not speak. he who speaks does not know ~ zen proverb
I resolved this morning to stay away from the American presidential elections. I heard Sarah Palin's speech to the Republican Party Convention last night and I was quite depressed by how snide and negative it was, how cheap and obvious it was, how one-dimensional and cliched her characterisation of herself and her opponents was--and worse, how much her audience and the media seemed to relish it, all of it. Every carefully-worded sentence of mean-spirited, transparently fake, folksy bullshit that she uttered. This woman is Ronald Reagan dressed up as Loni Anderson in a "Barbie Goes to College" B-Movie from 1983, but if that's what people want, who am I to argue?
I don't understand them or their world. If anybody thinks that speech was anything other than an exercise in skilled manipulation of the electorate by invisible men dedicated to anything other than getting the party that serves their interests into government, again, and then getting rich--well,we speak different languages. I don't think I should be wasting my energy trying to convince them that they're wrong. If McCain and Palin are elected, black people will suffer, homosexuals will suffer, intellectuals will suffer, people of different religions will suffer, other countries will definitely suffer (unless they kiss America's posterior like England does); but that has always been the way when Republicans were elected to the White House. Mourning in America. What good does it do for me to suggest there might be a better way? Those who already know don't need telling, and those who voted Republican either don't care, or will never be convinced.
All it does, my intervening fruitlessly, is give me a headache and let loose anger to stalk through my breast like a panther, disturbing my meditation and my sleep.
Perhaps, by the same token, I should quit interfering in British politics as well. If I can do something constructive, something that will bring about actual change rather than just satisfy my own raving ego, which is really what I'm doing with the political commentaries on this blog, perhaps I should put my energy there; and spend the rest of my time pursuing understanding on the zazen cushion, or writing poetry.