Edith in Rose’s space …
By Edith Morgan
Remember the Pogo comic strip?
I guess I am dating myself… All of you who are my age or thereabouts will recall the cartoon swamp creature in the Okefenokee swamp (I don’t think I spelled that right, but you get the idea!) who philosophized, among his other gifts.
And the saying that most resonated with me was: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
As I look around me now, and listen to what passes for public discourse, I am daily reminded of Pogo’s words. We are not being destroyed from outside our borders, although we, like all other rich and powerful nations, have plenty of enemies. We are well able to keep them at bay. No, today we are doing ourselves in!
While a lot of other peoples look to the United States for their model of democracy, ability to solve problems, absorb new ideas, and change peacefully, we seem to have increasingly abandoned these ideals (while we still give lip service to them). Instead, we have chosen a cruder, more selfish, more self-centered road. And to top it all off, we have elected to lead us someone – Donald Trump – who embodies all the things we purport to disavow.
All of us have a bigger or smaller “dark side,” which most of us struggle to keep in check. Even the very religious President Jimmy Carter admitted to “lusting in his heart.” Though he never gave in to those impulses, Carter admitted to experiencing them.
Now we have enshrined the notion that we all should be able to say what we want aloud, without considering how it all sounds to those who hear (and judge) what comes out of our mouths. Our young people are obsessed with self – selfies, constant texting, worried that they may miss some of the often awful conversations going on on social media 24 hours a day. They are unquestioningly filling their allotted time each day with matters that are mostly neither informative nor educational – nor designed to help them solve any of their life problems.
And so our public language has become laced with vulgar language, with words that used to be limited to barroom brawls. Small children are using these words, and I am not sure whether they understand their meaning, but they DO know that these terms are basically taboo in general conversation. And using even the well-known four-letter words! Some of which are still “bleeped out” on TV, radio and in some of the family friendly press.
More and more, we are becoming known as unreliable, given to speaking without thinking, and being unrepentant when we are caught in outright untruths.
How long did it take the media to call presidential falsehoods “lies”? It is high time that we at the bottom of the power pile begin a cleaner, gentler, more thoughtful discourse, listen to each other, and take a good, long look in the mirror and see if Pogo was right after all: Are we doing this to ourselves?
If we are, WE are the answer to our problem! It is almost too late to right the ship of state.
I am greatly encouraged by those young people whom I have heard and seen who take seriously their role as future leaders in America! And they are learning, participating, and still enthusiastic about REALLY MAKING AMERICA GREAT.🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸