A recent writer to this paper, Dick Biggs, bemoaned those things which divide us, numbering his list at 10 and invoking the wispy specter of long dead men, some of them, authors of the Constitution, and all, in the opinion of that writer, fathers to this country. That writer rightfully said that those men would not recognize or understand our central government. In the moody days following the recent elections, we remain divided, but not by 10 things but only by 2: That which we refuse to understand and that which we must learn and understand.
The men, contemporary to the Constitution’s ratification, would not mentally grasp the financial instruments, such as credit default swaps or mortgage-backed securities, which created and destroyed trillions of dollars in wealth in less than a single generation without the production of so much as a single brass button. Who would attempt an explanation to those men of a government which just borrowed more than a trillion dollars from China and Europe and gave away that money to those who do not fight in wars, fight crimes in our streets, or bandage our social wounds?
Thoughts of those men and what they could or could not understand of our times waste as much of our time and energies as refusing to understand the revelations of science. Some demand recognition of human life as starting at conception when 60 percent or more, of fertilized human ovum fail to produce a viable, human life. To prevent a teenaged pregnancy should be thought as great an ideal to pursue as preventing a teenaged abortion. Those who refuse to understand the science of global warming mightily damn the born and unborn to suffering, neglect and death.
We are surrounded by a worldwide conspiracy, monolithic and ruthless, which buries its mistakes and can only be known as ignorance. What we must understand as we forever face this challenge: our boundless learning abilities can defeat or at least hold back ignorance better than blind patriotism, nationalism or any other “ism.” Unless we seek for ourselves the peace of the grave, we must confront inherent human weaknesses, affirm reason as the tool, stronger than law or force, to secure survival, a full and free life, and what justice one human can provide to another.
Michael W. Parker
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