Idle Musings of the Hypothetical Citizen
"If only they devoured the sense of the Constitution as they do the pornographic image!" So he thought to himself, out of the blue, on a day he resolved as "letting life be as it is."
If they took the Constitution down into themselves and swallowed it and struggled with it, with the Convention, the Enlightenment philosophy behind it, the fight to sell the idea to the people, the first four for five administrations, the scope now of a vast federal government and all its titles and responsibilities; if they took it all in rather than the dark porn they absorbed with aplomb, then perhaps something might emerge out of them.
And it wasn't simply pornography. It was money. It was the way the mind got lost in the city and the media. If they took the Constitution down into themselves as they did these modern phenomena perhaps they would save themselves. Perhaps.
The young women, who commanded so much, did not care. If the young women turned against it or turned toward something; if they hated the Vietnam War and embraced the Beatles, for instance, then it was so. No force in the world could contain it. He dreaded the day they would embrace a Hitler or a Stalin.
And it wasn't as if the women were the cause of the debacle. More women than not had a much more responsible sense of citizenship than the males who always seemed rebellious for no other reason than to feel a liveness they couldn't in home life or work. But, the men were lost at some point and he feared that down the line they were going to be the catalysts for something transformative in the negative sense.
"Oh foolish man," he thought to himself, "and all your foolish fears!"
Life had been very difficult for him of late. Nothing seemed to be working well. He felt pressures he had never experienced before. And yet, there was the need, always, like some eternal river pouring out the black hole of a mountain, to think on the important things.
He had fond memories of the Civil Rights Era from his youth; a period that tested the Constitution to the max. And Civil Rights proved once and for all that the words in the Constitution were not simply an elite code spoken between large tobacco farmers and financers but were a fundemental act of truth; truth on which people could build. If that fundemental truth was denied then the whole was denied. It was wonderful to see natural prejudice superceded by law.
And slowly but surely the law became custom. But prejudice and the ugliness of spirit is fluid and when a law determines something the prejudice and ugliness flows to other areas. They resurrect themselves as the fundementalists had to become a parody of what defeated them. The defeated dress themselves up in the cloak of respectibility to defend their lost honor.
It was true that the political extremes expressed the bitterness, frustration, and hatred so solidly embedded in human nature. The thinking representatives of the extremes sublimated their passions to create opinions and attitudes out of them. It was an expression of the toxic rather than clarity and stirred clouds of anger in the people.
People roped into politics against their will. People who had kept their nose clean and fully assumed that their dreams and aspirations were perfectly normal. They moved along with the majority like happy pack-dogs, biting anything that got in the way. Public education and journalism had taught them the mechanics of state; the seperation of powers. They heard words like freedom and bill of rights. But the people are only interested in what is useful to them. If they go to college a bit more information is filled in. They talk about issues that are around and about but, as yet, are not directly participating in the larger game. Perhaps they get exposed to a smattering of philosophical essays on politics. At some point they enter the society and are met with problems. Headlines! If experience has taught them the bogus from the good they can do a decent job at making some opinions.
But, at the heart of their experience something fails; failure in the heart is the crux of all political life. That failure exposes the limit of experience from which one either leaps into thought, imagination, and forms or withers back to the authority of the vain.
Unprepared for this stage and all is thrown up in the air like angry sticks on fire.
© 2005 David Eide. All rights reserved.
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