Sunday night, when I was reflecting on and praying about this difficult election season yesterday, and how upsetting it has been for many of us, I thought back to another time similar to this ~ the midterm elections in 2010! I had written a piece about it at the time that I’ll share with you here.
We need a little humor today on Election Day. Maybe this will give you a chuckle or two.
A year ago this October (2010) I visited my good friend Father Dan Coughlin, Chaplain to the U. S. House of Representatives. We have known each other from our work together with the National Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions in the Seventies. We met in his office down in the catacombs of the House and then made our way up to dining room. The House was in recess (much to my relief) so we had the hallowed dining room to ourselves. I had a wonderful poached salmon with a dill and butter sauce. And spinach salad.
We didn’t talk about politics at all (which I always find quite painful). Just about old times. Dan gives the invocation each day and is available for counsel for the members. (He has to have the patience of a saint!)
Visiting the Capitol made me proud to be an American.
Right now, in the these midterm elections, there’s just too much anger. Too much mudslinging. Too many lies. Too much hatred. Too much incivility for our own good. Too much rage that could be ignited at any moment. It almost was by a gunman in California who was “inspired” by the “teaching” of one Glenn Beck a week ago.
The problem I have with all of this is shouldn’t we teach our children respect for authority? Isn’t the President due a certain amount of respect simply because he is the president? Don’t you teach your kids to respect their teachers?
When we get into crisis situations we look for other people to blame; we look for a scapegoat. The DEMOCRATS are the problem! Throw the bums out! The REPUBLICANS are the problem! Throw the . . . Or the illegals. Or the gays. Or the Muslims. Or the (um) Tea Partiers.
WAIT A MINUTE! Stop! Don’t we realize that we all have some share of responsibility for the problems we are carrying?
And, on the other hand, this is what his illustrious creator, Walt Kelly, who did speak the Queen’s English with great eloquence, would expostulate in the midst of all our rage. He would, laugh and say. “’Twas ever thus . . .”
“Traces of nobility, gentleness and courage persist in all people, do what we will to stamp out the trend. So, too, do those characteristics which are ugly. It is just unfortunate that in the clumsy hands of a cartoonist all traits become ridiculous, leading to a certain amount of self-conscious expostulation and the desire to join battle. There is no need to sally forth, for it remains true that those things which make us human are, curiously enough, always close at hand. Resolve then, that on this very ground, with small flags waving and tinny blast on tiny trumpets, we shall meet the enemy, and not only may he be ours, he may be us.
We need a little of Pogo and Walt Kelly’s arse-kickin’, very subtle humor. (He’s kickin you and me very firmly in the lower regions of our posteriors!) Take that, Donald Trump! Hillary Clinton! You! And Me too!
There are a lot of us running around with overstuffed egos and not there are not many humble enough to admit their own mistakes. To admit they don’t have all the answers.
Let’s stop and have a laugh or two about our mutual insanities!
Some of this stuff on the Internet (again in 2010 midterms) is pretty darn funny:
“I’m tea-baggin’ 4 Jesus!”
“Americans help us boycott Mexico — Respect Are Country — Speak English”
“ReFudiate Obama – November 2”
No Pubic option — no socialism
Make English America’s offical language
We have no idea what we’re talking about.
Let’s face it. Underneath our anger and rage is fear. There’s a lot of it. Very legitimate fears. And we could use a little comfort, and a good dose of laughter. Let’s take Walt Kelly’s wisdom to heart.
On November 9th, it will be time for some prayer and calm instead. Time to stand down. It will be time to unite. Let’s hope it happens.
(An excerpt of Psalm 122. . . .)
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem (of America)
May those who love you prosper!
May peace be within your borders,
prosperity within your buildings,
Because of my brothers and friends,
I will say, “Peace within you!”
Because of the house of the Lord, our God,
I will pray for your good.
And now, before you go, here’s our Nobel prize winner Bob Dylan singing one of his first songs ~”Blowin’ in the Wind. Click here. Be sure to turn up your speaker and enter full screen.
AND IF YOU HAVEN’T DONE SO ALREADY, BE SURE TO GET OUT AND VOTE!!