At a time when athletics are at the forefront of both academic and professional sports activity in the United States, it’s of special interest to see their effect in both areas; a major chunk of which is being played out in the political arena. Still dominant is the factor of race prejudice, intensified by the presence of an African-American President, with strong interests in both sectors.
No matter on what thoroughfare we Americans may reside, there is only one truly two-way street in this country and sadly, too many of us have forgotten its significance and lost sight of where it leads.
In one of his most compelling utterances, Oscar Wilde quipped: “Experience is the name everyone gives to their youthful Mistakes.” If ever this nation was in need of helpful advice from practiced elderly statespersons, now is that time. Trouble is, most of those available to give it have morphed into politically posthumous prime and are only allowed into the limelight to add cache` at ceremonial events or – as younger miscreants, who committed irreparable political havoc, are now frenziedly refurbishing history, to justify their prior misconduct as ‘necessary evil.’ For such unseemly projects, they form tandem arrangements with ghost-writers, eager to glean money and merit from the commercial media, which has scant scruple about manipulating inexpert voter opinion. The endgame effect of such shenanigans is a travesty in trust for those who need it most--- the voters whose voices are the most persuasive vehicles for change, when public policy hunts vital options between peace and war; economic vigor and regressive recession.
As the beloved piquant paradoxical pin-striper, Yogi Berra, used to pipe – “It’s like deja vu all over again,” it’s precisely that, just two decades or so later, with the same old cast of characters and a few new faces added.
There’s no denying the heat of resentment that prodded America’s colonial rebellion to its ultimate break with British rule and the formation of a new system of governance, controlled and administered by an elected body of its citizens. In retrospect, however, and given the passage of several centuries for calmer contemplation, this should not condemn every aspect of the British system to infamy and avoidance. In fact, a thorough and unbiased study of our current system of governance, shows it lacking a mode of service not completely available within any of the three traditional branches of government into which ours is divided. Closer scrutiny reveals a glaring need for its addition. A Management Branch could well re-revolutionize the current United States triumvirate system of three governmental branches, all of which are held hostage to the insidious influence of the continuous cycle of elective politics.
At this depressing juncture of America’s ongoing history, if for whatever uncharitable reason, someone might want to provide an even more troubling vexation to dwell upon, the charge that ours is an anti-Organized Labor chronicle would turn out to be a truly fruitless choice. A short stint of diligent digging by this commentator has turned up some interesting rebuttals.
This veteran of too much war and too much talk of it with too little substance, at too great an expense for too many to pay and too few to benefit, has discovered a long neglected and priceless truth, that we now can only ignore at our irrevocable peril. In the Fourth Century-B.C., the super-wise philosopher Sun Tzu uttered an incontestable truth, still valid and destined to remain so: “It is best,” he said, “to win without fighting.” His wisdom was preceded by several generations of combatant statesmen, who were described by a contemporary historian as “…those with the clearest vision of the glory and danger before them, who notwithstanding, still went out to meet it.”
What does the phrase:”National Destiny,” truly mean? Too often, the impassioned palaver of politicians simply get it wrong. Here, where the spirit of the self-proclaimed destiny of unified accomplishment became the gargantuan model of every free individual’s dream, we have created ‘Nervana-Run-Amock.’ The result has been the ‘Malling’ of America, with ‘Big-Box’ outlets and Strip-Malls covering every vestige of green that Nature has grown. This evolution has been accompanied by the corrosion of a nationwide network of infrastructure, unmatched in any other populous expanse. This is the burden with which our ‘National Destiny’ of material acquisition has endowed us. Now our problem is: What to do about it?
The year was 1936 and this now grizzled and sometimes forgetful WWII Veteran sat in the front seat of the family Chevrolet with his father; a good spot from which a fourteen-year-old could observe and prep for that future day, when he might become a responsible driver. We had just pulled up to the tanks, in front of the local gas station and the proprietor came out to greet us, the ever-present chamois in hand. “What’ll it be, Al,” he asked, to which my Dad replied: “The usual; fill’er up, John.” To which John responded, as follows: wiped both the rear window and windshield; checked the tires, then opened the hood to check both water and oil. When all of these were done, he filled the gas tank.