As a nation organized by émigrés stirred by selfish design or desperation, should one expect out-comes according to what originally impelled them? Hardly—and yet, much of what our visionary antecedents desired came to pass, despite selfish side-steps and stubborn reluctance, by single-minded saboteurs. But when such hindrance becomes the stock-in-trade of those invested with responsible representation, just to gain political or financial profit or mere personal satisfaction --- honorable defenders must mount forceful opposition.
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.
On September 24th, 1942, three months shy of his 20th birthday, this combat veteran of WWII in the Pacific stood with several dozen other enlistees, at Fort Dix, N.J., prepared to join the United States Army. It had taken me eight months after the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor, by the Japanese, to convince my father to sign the permission paper my lack of seniority demanded. Preliminaries: medical and routine completed, we were called to attention to be sworn in by the officer in charge. I still recall the oath, by which I swore to defend the United States from all enemies – foreign and domestic. For me, it has been a life-long impetus for service.
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.
A most recent episode of the long-running and vaunted TV program , “60-Minutes,” entered the descriptive realm of ‘Historic’ in its highly documented interview with a respected physician-turned-research engineer, who shared the profound announcement that he and his colleagues have initiated the revolutionary and computerized era of ‘Robotics.’
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.”