Sunday, March 20, 2016

I haven’t written much recently. I have been pretty depressed about what is going on in the United States. The anger that seems to be roiling just below the surface with so many citizens is almost palpable at times. It shows in the political process and it surfaces in the way people treat each other. Lines are being drawn and people who cross are considered traitors. Yet our society has been built on the premise that in a democracy, we vote and then live with the decision of the majority. In order for that democracy to thrive, however, the victors need to be willing to compromise on issues so that even the losers feel included in the general well-being of society. Our society has been gradually moving away from this sense of inclusion, and the winners, in their exultation and trashing of the losers, have left a large portion of the population feeling betrayed and abandoned. As a result, we now find ourselves facing an election with no viable candidates willing to offer hope for a society where all its citizens will be accepted and respected.

I don’t have any real solutions to offer. And that is my problem. Instead I am going back to a poem I wrote a few years ago. I have never found a leader or a philosophy that didn’t have some flaws and when we make the mistake of subscribing, totally, to either, we open ourselves and our society to disastrous consequences. Right now, it seems to me, that the left and right are trying to tear the country apart and we have no leadership or constituency that really wants to prevent it. I would caution us all, in both parties, to beware the “True Believers”. Our society will not survive without the freedom of both winners and losers to voice their differences and to continue to cherish the hope that we  all have a chance someday to feel like a winner.

The True Believer”(In the Cat’s Eye, Snap Screen Press, 2009) is a cautionary tale about what happens when those who think they have all the answers rule with impunity, and with the sure knowledge that they are purveyors of all that is right and true. It is a scary place, and we all should be very afraid that our absolutist actions are helping to take us there.

Glenn K. Currie

                             True Believers


They wear their causes
Like tattoos.
Insignias
Made from the cloth
Of cultural epiphanies
Or sacred decrees.

They march to words
Beaten into placards.
Written too large
To accommodate
The small surface
Of their hearts.

Their torches burn
At my windows,
Demanding
Allegiance
To a society
Without questions.

They want to create
A new world,
Where everyone
Believes the same.
Where everyone knows
All the answers.