I posted Fattymoon’s lament regarding the state of America’s culture, politics and prospects late last night, and yet another deserving Comment of the Day arrived in record time, this morning at 8:41 PM.
Here is Tim Hayes’ rebuttal to FattyMoon’s Comment of the Day in response to “From The Signature Significance Files: Trump And The Teleprompter. Seriously, How Can You Even Consider Voting For A Guy Like This?”
(THE MANAGEMENT FULLY AGREES WITH AND ENTHUSIASTICALLY ENDORSES THE OPINION EXPRESSED HERE.)
“To this very day I call for armed revolution and don’t give a fuck who knows it. Maybe Homeland Security will make me a return visit at one in the morning. But, this time, I ain’t inviting them in. Ain’t got no guns”
This statement, right here? This is the symptom of so damn many of the problems facing our country right now. I’m not saying that to attack FM as an individual, here, but rather to reject a representative of a mentality that provokes the gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair. So please, when reading this post, understand that all directed comments towards a “you” are directed towards anyone sharing that mentality, not at a specific individual.
You call for armed revolution, but you don’t have arms with which to join one.
You call for changes to who is elected to office, but you then say “but I only voted twice” with the clear implication that you’re not to blame for how things are.
You say you are on the sidelines.
What your words showcase is that you lack the conviction to act, or even be prepared to act, on your beliefs. And you brandish that truth like it is a flag that you should be planting on a hill, or some undiscovered country. Like you are proud of it. When Yeats wrote that “The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of a passionate intensity” it was a LAMENT, people, not a compliment. Having no will to act on your convictions and beliefs is not a virtue.
James McHenry, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 on the behalf of Maryland, wrote of an exchange he claimed to have witnessed after the close of the convention. “A lady asked Dr. Franklin what have we got a republic or a monarchy. A republic replied the Doctor if you can keep it.”
There are reasons for the if, in Franklin’s reply. And one of those reasons is the mentality that says “There should be armed revolt by someone. Not by me. I don’t have the means. But by someone”, and “I hate the people who get elected. Mind you, I don’t vote, so it’s not my fault bad people get elected.”
What is it that is lacking in these mentalities?
Conviction, which in these cases, means more than being willing to say you have a belief… it means being willing to SHOW others how sincerely you believe what you say.
You’re not willing to take up the responsibility for the things you believe. That’s why you call for an armed revolution without actually being prepared to engage in one. It is why you call for for better elected officials when you aren’t willing to participate in the process of choosing them.
Don’t get me wrong, I can understand not wanting to take up those responsibilities. They’re huge, heavy burdens. That’s why we call them civic obligations and duties, not rights. And when you pick up a huge burden like those, you run the risk of it failing, as Obama failed the people who voted for him.
But you did try. Don’t stop because your attempt wasn’t a success. Not everything does succeed the first time around. Ever tried lighting a fire with flint and steel? It doesn’t usually work the first time you strike them together. It may never work, because of any number of things that might be outside of your control. But one thing is certain… If you stop trying after that first strike, it CANNOT work.
The future is not a spectator sport. There are no sidelines for anyone to stand on, as long as you’ve got skin in the game. But you can chose between hanging out in left field picking dandelions, or paying attention to what’s happening with the other players and taking part.
Don’t expect anyone to take your complaints about their performance seriously, if you choose to pick the dandelions.