For a while, one of my daughters was an avid RISK player.
For those of you unfamiliar with that classic game, the goal is world
domination, achieved through a combination of skill and luck.
America is not a board game. I am getting quite tired of
hearing the IRS or Benghazi scandals discussed in terms of being good or bad
for the administration. It was just as offensive to hear the Newtown shootings
or the Boston Marathon attack described as a boon or drag on various political
parties’ legislative agendas. Intimidation
of groups by the government is an abuse of power that transcends polling. So
are the deaths of innocent Americans at home or abroad. There is something extremely distasteful in
viewing misuse of authority, failure of command or heartbreaking incidents primarily
through the prism of the President’s poll numbers or upcoming elections.
When a powerful government agency becomes a weapon of
intimidation, all Americans lose. When America behaves weakly and ineffectually
abroad, all Americans lose. When schoolchildren aren’t safe in their
classrooms, all Americans lose. I have no patience for those Republicans who
crow that the IRS and Benghazi scandals will help Republicans in the 2013
congressional elections. These episodes may indeed do so, but I would rather win
an election on principle rather than achieve victory because the current
administration behaved in a way that damaged this country. If it then used
evasion and dishonesty in an attempt to avoid blame, once again, Americans of
all political persuasions lost.
Some supporters of this president and his policies are downplaying
these scandals because discovering the truth may embarrass and discredit a
person they admire and a group with whose principles they identify. This
reveals great lack of character and destroys their credibility. In fact, these distressing and disappointing
moments provide opportunities for greatness.
John Adams faced such a moment in 1770 when the slanted
propaganda surrounding what we think of as the ‘Boston Massacre’ unjustly
threatened to condemn British soldiers to death. Despite being associated with
the Patriot cause and possibly risking his hopes for leadership in that cause,
he defended the soldiers. By placing principled truth ahead of personal
ambition, he chose greatness.
In this case, the opportunity for greatness lies with
liberal Democratic reporters, politicians and pundits. When those with access
to power and influence stop thinking of themselves as Americans and instead identify
primarily as political animals, all Americans lose. Love of country should
transcend partisanship and decent men and women should be willing to put
America’s winning above that of their own ‘team’.
When a game of RISK finishes,
the board is cleaned up and the former opponents move on to other pursuits. The
real-life cleanup will be messier and longer, maybe impossible, if the American
government ceases to be ‘of the people, for the people and by the people.’
6 thoughts on “America: The Board Game”
Our elected officials are of the people. They are, each one, one of us. They are by the people. We elected them. But, they are not for the people. They are, like most of us are becoming or have already become, for themselves. That is the problem.
” When those with access to power and influence stop thinking of themselves as Americans and instead identify primarily as political animals, all Americans lose.”
That applies especially to those who want to call themselves ‘journalists’. When reporters investigate and report events, they serve us all. When they instigate or ignore events, they serve their masters.
(Susan here – Lyna goes on to recommend a source of web news. I am not familiar with it so I am not comfortable with passing on the suggestion, but Lyna, if you wish me to forward your email address to anyone interested, let me know and I will try to do so.)
Again, you have hit the nail on the head. Where have the honest, statesmen and women gone? Today, our government is a mirror of our society. Low information voters care only for hearing the latest soundbite not delving deeply into the issues surrounding candidates. I am with one of your readers, “A pox upon both parties.” The “cult of personality” that has created and maintained a man who has no integrity is what we have deserved and what we are receiving. I agree with James; as an immigrant I love America, I listen and research, and I vote. I just wish that it wasn’t always the lesser of two evils.
Of all board games, perhaps chess may be considered the king. It is ironic that the mindset that prevails in the design of the game of chess is that the Ruling Class has the power over the “little peoples”, or pawns.
The birth certificate of the United States of America, the Declaration of Independence smashes that age-old paradigm by claiming certain God-given unalienable rights for every man, woman, and child. The U.S. Constitution fleshes out those rights by codifying into law how “We the people . . .” have taken the shackles off of ourselves and placed them where they belong – onto the government. We call it the rule of law, a government of laws, and not of men.
All board games are similarly governed by laws or “rules”, otherwise they wouldn’t be much fun.
The battle that we recognize as politics is the battle between the men of the ruling class who see most of us as “We the pawns . . .”, and it is a battle for dominance and submission. The Ruling Class is counting on indifference born of ignorance, or to borrow a Cold War expression, an attitude of “better red than dead”.
Patrick Henry, from a family of simple means and a man of the people who became an attorney in colonial Virginia, wasn’t one to acquiesce in the face of tyranny. He worked hard to learn the rules, and then he took a stand on the side of truth when he declared to his countrymen “As for me, give me liberty, or give me death”. With God’s Truth in their hearts and on their side, this “spirit of ‘76” that gave birth to the American experiment.
Love it or hate it, the battle will continue to rage, and the spiritual forces behind the dark side of the “board” are playing for Hobbsian keeps.
Susan, unfortunately I doubt that any Leftist member of the media will be allowed to speak truth to power before their bosses censor them. I know there are a few who are speaking out, but like the NY Times, they will be allowed to report on things – but they’ll make sure they are put on the back pages. Talk Radio and Fox News, are speaking truth to power, unfortunately they have a relatively small audience. The vast media govt complex will not change as long as this Manchurian President is in office. The education monopoly combined with a corrupt press has insured that the great divide between Americans with traditional Classic Liberal values (Constitutional Conservatives) and socialist utopian Masterminds and their drones will continue. The Masterminds win in this two card Monty game, two Party system at each other’s throats. Until America gets rid of the Education Monopoly of anti-American socialists and the Media has morphed back into a force that “Questions Authority”, we will continue to live in the soft tyranny that Tocqueville alluded to in Democracy in America. The Trojan Horse of the Communist Manifesto – Universal Free Govt Education – is what is destroying this country. Eliminate Federal Education. Take away the unholy crony relationship between teachers unions and the Govt. The brainwashed C and D students that inhabit the Media can only be overcome by massive change in Education. K-12 Education should be State and local – with heavy competition from Private Schools – and programs to promote Home Schooling. Dept of Education must go. That’s the biggest step to win the country back. After that, we can eliminate Dept of Energy, EPA, IRS, and virtually any agency without any visible productive function. Then we can discuss radically reforming Higher Education…focusing on those departments that actually produce marketable skills…I can dream can’t I?
Dear Rabbi Lapin, you are so right about electricity. In proposing subtle electrical forces of Divine origin underlying life and all its principles, perhaps you should read The Bright Lady and the Astral Wind. This book conjures super-subtle electrical forces quite off the radar of human measurement, and their consequences in our psychological and spiritual life, interweaving several principles of Ancient Old Testament wisdom that you will certainly recognize.
Bravo, Ms. Susan! Something is rotten in the state of America. Some argue that our populace has been effectively (1) dumbed down by education rendered reductionist to churn out competent and compliant factory worker drones and (2) satiated by bread and circuses (e.g., Social Welfare, Entertainment Tonight and Monday Night Football). As a result, a great many ‘human’ automatons seem to envision the nation’s perils as a mere contest between two opposing sport teams: the Donkeys vs. the Elephants. Line up and choose your poison! Both Donkeys and Elephants serve to propagate and perpetuate this outrageous illusion.
The Bard might say: “A pox upon both your Parties!” For there are much larger things at stake than an animal vertebrate sporting match. As you have told us, although small people talk about other people and mediocre people talk about things, great people discuss IDEAS. Are there any honest politicians astute, wise and brave enough to transcend their Party, to articulate and support the concepts of freedom, justice and The Republic that are imperiled here? And if so, are there any voters open-minded enough to listen, clear-headed enough to discern their message, and unselfish enough to stop howling ‘What’s in it for ME?’ to serve the greater good, visualized minus the false rose-colored lens of socialism? Perhaps we shall soon see and discern our fate.
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