Diogenes did not feel cynical as he walked through the dark halls of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. He felt frustrated, angry and wanting to cry out, “Where the hell are you?” He had given up looking for an honest man centuries ago and he knew for certain he would not find one here today. But he thought he had a chance to find someone with courage, someone, anyone in the GOP with the guts to step up and say, “No! This is not right; this is not my idea of democracy, this is not America!”
He fumbled with a flashlight as his echoing footsteps searched the maze of twists and turns of the massive structure. “Helllll-ooooooooo…” he cried out but only echoes replied.
Not cynical: well beyond that. Despair came closer to the truth of his feelings. It’s been years now – since the last elections –that he has waited for someone in these august corridors to claim the courage to confront the myopic and divisive leadership that has turned this nation into a lie. It takes courage to stand up for what’s right, without being righteous, particularly in front of what is so blatantly wrong.
Ego, greed, the abuse of power, disregard of the “little people,” literally on our borders and figuratively in our economy. None of which has made America great again, rather diminishing its stature throughout the world.
Courage, according to Wikipedia (“I love Wikileaks”), “also called bravery or valor, is the choice and willingness to confront agony, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation.” Sadly, all of these pollute the doings in the current White House. Fear, as well.
“But there’s no confrontation,” Diogenes screamed in the hollows of the marbled hallways. “Where are you all?” he added. “What’s got your tongues?” He wasn’t thinking politics, just person. The nation’s leader is a scoundrel, a con man, huckster, egomaniac. “Where is a voice courageous enough to say that the Emperor’s new clothes are non-existent? Isn’t there anyone?”
Diogenes flung his flashlight across the rotunda, its clatter the only reply to his screaming. Honesty, he once thought, was the measure of any meaningful life. But courage, pardon the phrase, needs to trump that.
Call this a rant, if you will. It is honest, Mr. Diogenes, but I can’t call it courageous unless it gets published. But even then I am no hero. Simply a citizen, an American who believes in this imperfect democracy, who is well aware of its history, but yet shares the vision of its Founders’ words.
Anyone can vent as I’ve done here. Having the freedom to let one’s feelings be heard is part of the greatness of this country. Imposing those feelings on others requires a special sensitivity, and I am trusting that is evident here. The humor helps but…t’ain’t funny, what’s happening.