I’m not sure how Moses or his 20th C stand-in Charlton Heston felt when they parted the ancient Red Sea. Then I think of the many modern Red Seas separating us from the promises of a better land. Great metaphorical rushes of water deep enough to swamp our best efforts.
For instance I’m thinking of the way greed, racism, violence and ignorance all stand in the way of our progress as a people. How to get across these? It’s what our modern-day Moses are always beckoning us to try. Usually their exhortations come in the form of lofty speeches. Political speech making is an institution which arrived with democracy, for under monarchy no one gave speeches but the King.
God chose the original Moses; we elect the current ones. God’s choice fell short of the Promised Land; our guys do too. But then when they retire from Washington speech making almost half of them pick up six-figure consulting/lobbying jobs which let them stay there forever as “experts.” Only now re-working the old lofty speeches for paid after-dinner addresses. [I plead guilty to having penned some of these for retired senators, ambassadors and cabinet members. I mean why not, the adjectives still worked].
Here’s the point.
Words matter. Whether spoken from a hilltop in Egypt or a lectern in downtown Washington. However, in today’s electronic age, so very very many words tumble out by the billions every day. Exhorting or condemning, challenging or obfuscating. And somehow almost anyone’s words can get a hearing in the media whose need to fill-the-time is voracious.
Upon some reflection you could make a good argument that the tyranny of kings has now been replaced with the tyranny of experts. Kings claimed their authority by ‘divine right.’ Experts claim their authority by… when you think about it, mostly by their PR staff.
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