Archived Story

Write Again … Aristotle understood it really well

Published 8:37pm Monday, December 3, 2012

On a few rare occasions I’ll begin “Write Again” with the thought that maybe this one — depending on where I’m going with it — shouldn’t ever reach the printed page in the WDN.
Well, this just may be one of those times. As one who abhors conflict, confrontation, ruffling feathers, today’s topic may well be one to be oh so careful, about. Maybe even to avoid.
Having said that, here goes. (Proving, perhaps, my not-too-smart assessment of myself.)
There was a time — a good while back — when I thought that maybe there was a slight chance that a candidate for political office  in these parts might just be successful if he/she pledged to be open to different viewpoints, work with the other party for the common good whenever possible, strive for principled compromise, avoid intractable ideological rigidity and not demean, demonize, denigrate, derogate, vilify, ridicule those who see things differently.
Shoot. I was even naive to the point of believing that some might moderate such nondemocracy-serving ways, and even divest themselves of such self-serving hubris.
Well, now. If any needed a validation of my lack of intelligence and political acumen, I surely gave them reason.
Perhaps the most troubling thing of all has had to do with those who use religion as a wedge. As in, “Hello, I’m (fill in the blank with a name). I’m a Christian, a conservative, and a (political party).”
Meaning: Jesus is on my side, and those who aren’t with us are not good Christians. How dare they.
What political party persuasion one has, what political label one chooses to describe him or herself, is certainly their right, and what I may — or may not — think of it is important only to me.
But, and this is a point I do believe in quite strongly, to use the name of Jesus to curry political favor and votes — and to imply that the opposition is not worthy, in a religious sense — is a ploy I find abhorrent. Absolutely abhorrent, and something that ill-serves this form of governing we call democracy.
As a people, we should be better than this. We really should.
Would that I were sanguine that such judgmental, often mean-spirited manifestations might be consigned to our past.
About this, I must admit, I am not hopeful.
May I be proved wrong.
APROPOS — “Those who think that all virtue is to be found in their own party principles push matters to extremes; they do not consider that disproportion destroys a state (nation).”
— Aristotle
4th century B.C.

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