In a scene from “Dances with Wolves” a tracker(Robert Pastorelli) is leading Lt. Dunbar (Kevin Costner) across the no man’s land and they come across some bleached bones on the prairie. The bones are scattered mixed here and there with arrows. You get the idea. Well Timmons, the tracker looks at the bones and gets a big smile on his face and cracks “I’ll bet someone back east is going, “Now why don’t he write?” It is a good joke and fits in perfectly with the gruesome future possibilities for Dunbar in the western wilderness. I mention this scene because it sticks out in my mind as a metaphor for today’s governance and style. As Lt. Dunbar sets up housekeeping in the remoteness of the west he makes friends with wolves and Indians two “uncivilized” entities. Just not done.
He is trying to find out stuff. He makes friends with the native Americans. He takes the time and learns their language. He embraces and respects their culture. To what end? Economic? As a curiosity? Nah, he values it as it is. It has relevance and it is ancient. Their spirituality is not so distant from his own white version. To come to this point, he had to push himself out of his comfort zone and while retaining his own identity (and culture and history) adapted to the new version of life right in front of him. Later on there are soldiers who came to relieve him and also relieve the Indians of their land. They didn’t understand the value of the people they were displacing. nor did they really want to. To do so would mean that the Indian culture had as much value as what they valued. We can not have that. Our way is the best. The natural outcome of this time of myopia is conflict. So too with politics.
When the Republican/T-Party swept out the House on 2 November, they did so based on the economic fear. The main reason touted by the conservative main-stream media claimed it was a referendum on Obama. You know, and I know it really wasn’t. People are scared and sometimes scared people don’t always make sane decisions. Stuff like that happens from time to time and sometimes it is good for the country to be turned on its head. But sometimes the turning is misplaced and myopic as in this present upheaval. The rich want to hold on to everything they have even if it is on the backs of the middle class and the health of the county. That’s understandable. They would rather take than to give. What is developing is a new version of the type of Manifest Destiny that wiped out the native American culture. So for us, watchers of this experiment in self-rule pull the arrows out, take up your pen and write “those people back east…” let ‘em know you’re still alive and haven’t rolled over, just yet.
and so it goes…