Hardly a day goes by in America when we are not sodded, or for lack of a better word deluged with the headlines and talking heads announcing yet another new PROBE of something or another. For this article I will mostly stick to politics. However PROBES in America have become as common as the obituaries and the sports results. I’m sure most of you along with me did not know that there actually exists a “Golden PROBE Award.” The proof accompanies this article. I guess I’m not all that surprised after all, given the voluminous amount of them in America. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines the word PROBE among other things as “a penetrating or critical investigation to search into and explore.”It is derived from the Latin “Probare”meaning to test or to examine, to prove, from “Probus, meaning good.
More Latin later, but the picture is pretty clear. PROBES mean something or someone has a stench attached to it, or someone one is flinging crap on a wall hoping some sticks.
I’m sticking to current headlines here but Probing has been going on since the beginning of our Republic. Most recently it seems the small hammer has turned into a freakin bludgeon of enormous size. Hell, sometimes the Probe itself even defies the good old American right of innocent until proven guilty if the Probing party has enough influence. Recently when Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court he probably became the most Probed man in many years. His Probers seemed to have as their war cry “WE WILL PROBE YOU UNTIL WE DISROBE YOU.”
His accusers were literally coming forth like opening day at Wrigley Field. After it was all said and done no credible evidence of any of the accusations could be found. The Probe failed to find a single charge to be valid. Ultimately he was sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice but he and his family limped away from those Probes probably with an everlasting stain on their lives. It would be impossible to rinse all those negative accusing headlines off.
More than 2300 years ago the great Philosopher Diogenes of Sinope was best known for holding a lantern to the face of the citizens of Athens claiming to be searching for an honest man. Without sounding cynical, by todays number of ongoing Probes, the old Greek today would probably have to bring his lantern into the nurseries at the local hospital to be successful.
Before I sat down to write this I just scanned a few of America’s newspapers to get a feel for the up to date Probes of today. Matthew Whitaker shouldn’t oversee the Mueller Probe—-Senate Democrats Probe allegations of past sexual assault investigations—State Probing problems in Atlanta Mayoral race –Mueller’s new Probe has broad powers to throttle Trump—Tesla’s new Chairwoman walking into SEC and DOJ Probes—FBI Probed Matthew Whitakers past business dealings–Illinois Politician calls for a Probe of Cook County Presidents Security Chief and wants to include her past dealings regarding her Chief of Staffs behavior. I could go on until Spring but there is a lot of Probing going on. I’m surprised nobody has cut a Rap song using those words.
So bear with me here as I leap to the meat of what I’m proposing. Back to some Latin. On the Great Seal of the United States it contains the words E Pluribus Unum, (out of many one) along with Annuit Coeptis (to nod or approve) and Novus Ordo Seclorum (new order of the ages). I have no beef with the latter two. However, I do with E Pluribus Unum (out of many one) which is by far the most popular, probably because it has appeared on various U.S. coins throughout our history. The most recent on the 2009-2010 pennies. A come down I’m certain and I think I know why.
I often think about America today, the land of the free, this magnificent gift that was left to us by those who came before us. Those words E Pluribus Unum as I look at America today and I wonder if we will ever get there or indeed even come close. I see Liberals, Conservatives, Democratic’s, Republicans, male, female, black, white, Asian, Indian, Hispanic, gun advocates, gun opponents, the abortion issue, the college admission issue, hell the Cubs /White Sox, the differences are exhausting. Almost every single one of those competing for a piece of the American dream.
Sometimes it’s exhausting watching everyone have at each other. To me it just means many of us Americans will never be able to be all that we want to be. Too many people are counting up the differences between us and tossing in their claims, and it seems as though it will never go away any time soon. In the immortal words of the late, great, Mike Royko of the people shouting past each other, “WHERE’S MINE?” I do not know what it would take to remove E Pluribus Unum from our great Seal but I do know what words we should replace it with. PROBE. It seems to keep us all fighting each other. There are no magic lanterns.
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