In today’s starchy proud age of all things rational, we are advised that logic must reign, ideas must follow facts, and above all “dots” must be connected. It is after all the era of the Quants — those well trained, well-oiled minds who can quantify patterns & purposes where others may see only the random.
If connecting-the-dots is a game anyone can play, let me offer this thought: The current Chuck Hegel nomination for Defense Secretary has let loose an offertory of dots which, if correctly connected, just might provide us with one of the oldest back-stories to our country’s history. Starting with our first 17th C settlers in Jamestown, Plymouth, and New York right up to our current 21st C neo-cons and 2nd amendmenters opposing Hegel as an enemy of that story.
Think about it this way. With each of our early settlers came the very same image first set by Columbus himself. A group of hearty men bearing the trilogy of flag, Bible, gun. For any foreigners trying to decipher this Yankee superpower here in our mid-life crisis, that trilogy might at first seem disparate. And yet the three parts are a good fit:
(1)The settlers arrogantly presume their flag is the country to whom this land now belongs [it actually belonged to the native populations the settlers say they discovered when in fact they invaded]. (2) The settlers arrogantly but piously presume their Bible should henceforth be the faith of the people [people who had their own traditional religions long before the Christian Europeans]. (3) The gun arrogantly becomes the most respected symbol of the European claim here to glory, goodness and greatness.
Fast forward to Washington DC circa 2013 where the American Empire, like every empire before it, has reached a breaking point in its economy. The battle — call it fiscal, political, ideological, or personal — has in some serendipitous way come down to Chuck Hegel. To put that differently, can this president’s nominee help lead the nation from further fiscal cliffs? Can he help this president find enough money to swap from one national fund [the bloated military] to the other national fund [the threatened entitlements]? In other words, will Hegel at Defense commit enough money to our military establishment around the world while still saving enough money to help salvage our entitlement establishment here at home?
Those who tend to wave the flag, shout the Bible, and demand their guns have a problem with this nominee. Watch the confirmation battle in the Senate, for it will be about more than Chuck Hegel. It will be about how you and I live our lives and raise our families for the rest of this century….even though our names will appear nowhere in the Senate Resolution.
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