Rarely does anyone with a moderate degree of wisdom or life experience reject advice informed by years of data collected through the observation of generations of “regular” human beings. We call such advice “common sense” and, sadly, common sense is a flower that doesn’t grow in everyone’s garden. It is normally dispensed in the form of unique “sayings” that are descriptive of or related to immediate or eventual circumstances in the human condition.
Hearing or remembering these sayings has always caused me to give pause to rash or reactive responses. Consideration of these sayings has saved me from untold grief and regret. Through them, I’ve learned that listening for knowledge is much less agonizing than gaining knowledge through the pain of experience.
One such saying that I have found invaluable in my life is, “Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it.” It is advice that I am sure has crossed the minds of those connected with the current election of the new speaker of the House of Representatives. Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy, former minority leader in the House and presumptive House speaker, is learning just how applicable that saying is to his life.
McCarthy’s obsession with attaining the lofty position of speaker is well-known. The aim of his political malleability and willingness to flip-flop on significant issues has always been predicated on his desire to become speaker. Unfortunately, the depth of his obsession has become the tool of his own social and emotional abuse. At this writing, all he has to show is eleven unsuccessful attempts over a period of three days to secure his aim and his true inability to lead.
Initially, I watched the selection of speaker with the glee of watching a political opponent unable to achieve a goal that would jeopardize most of the social and political gains I’ve fought for so many years. Somewhere in the middle of Day 2, my glee transformed into dismay at the realization that the segment of the Republican Party, infiltrated, as it is, by racists, fascists and those hell-bent on the destruction of democracy, was inching closer to securing the power over which it obsessed. Two years after the violent physical assault on the foundation of our democracy, that party moves closer to achieving its destructive aim through surreptitious means.
Make no mistake, I do not accuse all Republicans with the purposeful aim of deconstructing our democracy, but silence when witness to attacks on the principles, values, and traditions of our democracy demonstrates their acceptance. Instead of full support of actions that provide for greater participation and inclusion in personal freedoms enjoyed by some, they have chosen to exclude others based on race, gender, gender identification, and other factors irrelevant to the exercise of humane interaction.
The members of the Republican Party that have squeezed concessions from McCarthy in exchange for their support have indicated their lack of intent to govern. They offer no legislative strategies in response to persistent inflation, gun violence, homelessness, or other quality-of-life issues which plague the average American. Instead, they have voiced their intent to pursue scorched-earth attacks on political enemies. They have promised frivolous congressional investigations on Democrats in the Executive and Legislative branches. They exploit the (racist) southern border immigration issue without seeking real resolution. They present an ongoing threat to personal freedoms that contradict their own worldview. Reportedly, McCarthy has even conceded, without basis or cause, to the future impeachment of President Biden and other Cabinet members.
For the achievement of an arrogant, vanity-based obsession, McCarthy has sold his soul to the devil. By doing so, he is opening the door to those who are intent on the elimination of personal freedoms.