From the Stacks … November 6th, 2020

This week, most of us are considering the notion that sometimes political outcomes have a stark affect on our lives. So I decided to explore some of Jonathan’s more socio-political ideas. He had a great disdain for politics but also a great hunger for justice–which sometimes required that he speak out on such subjects. Here’s one from January, 2014.

But Not Now

Everybody knows this is true: the main reason that government doesn’t work is that it avoids solutions by replacing them with discussions.

I wish I could tell you that conversing on a given subject brings about change. It does not. It is actually a way to dodge the work of transformation.

It usually shows up in the form of putting off the action.

This is not new. The ineffective nature of our government has been present since the beginning–how else could Adams and Jefferson have been such good friends? They tabled their issues. And how did they do it? What did they say to themselves?

“Something should be done–but not now.”

Here’s a quick list taken from my own memory banks:

1.In 1959 in the United States, the average white person contended that segregation was not ideal, but thought it was practical. In other words, they knew it was wrong–that black Americans should NOT be separate. Something should be done–but not now.”

2. Women should also be equal and have the identical pay scale as men. But not now.

3. Truthfully the minimum wage has never been sufficient for a human to be able to live, eat and prosper. Something should be done–but not now. It could wreck the economy.

4. Something should be done for the homeless–put them to work or offer alternatives to their present condition. But not now. It is much easier to discuss whether their condition is caused by lack of opportunity or by laziness.

5. It is obvious that gays and transgenders in our society must have complete equivalence if we want to maintain our concept of liberty and justice for all. But not now. What we want them to do is acquire moral acceptance before they are granted civil rights.

6. Political gridlock in our country is the result of a two-party system that gains power by maintaining power. We know we would be better off if this two-faced monster were beheaded, and many more candidates were offered to the electorate. But not now. Too disruptive to consider. Someone might lose that power they so enjoy.

7. Likewise, the electoral college is antiquated and needs to be replaced with the popular vote. But not now. What would we do with all the people who make their livelihood by honoring its cumbersome inner workings?

We don’t lack the intelligence or even the integrity to know what to do. But we nevertheless choose to be stalled in a lethargic fear of change.

The American government should take heed:

Americans are tired of discussions.

We are no longer willing to “table” justice and equality, which have been standing in the wings waiting to play their parts for lo, these many years.

It is time for America to grow up.

Maturity is when the truth of what must be done is more important than what is convenient.

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