February 8, 2013
It's a sad reality, but something has caused the mind of Colin Powell to deteriorate to the extent that the man who spent an admirable life in the ancient, honorable profession of soldier can now be described as a politician.
Fortunately, however, the condition is reversible. After all, his brain is not hopelessly damaged by the corruptive plaque deposited during decades of labor in the real oldest profession, the one, by the way, that demands ten trillion times more moral and intellectual whoring than that required by another well known career.
That's why sensible folks urge Powell to transform himself from his current state to that of honest citizen, a task the former general will be powerfully motivated to accomplish if he sets his psyche straight with the truths the world's greatest creative spirits have revealed about politicians since antiquity.
To acquire those truths, he could consult Greek playwrights who were among the first to enlighten humanity about the supreme stupidity and catastrophe-causing pride that define the members of the depraved breed.
He could turn to Shakespeare, who regarded them as so hopelessly incorrigible that he ended his tragedies by littering the stage with their bodies.
He could look to Swift, who is so unrestrainedly vicious in his satire of their fundamental depravity it's a surprise Washington hasn't denied funding to educational institutions that even mention "Gulliver's Travels" to their students.
Or, if he is in the particularly American mood for an irreverently humorous tone regarding the terrible scourge laid upon humanity, he could seek out Mark Twain, the author of this superb use of redundancy:
"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself."
If Powell listens to just one of those sources, the change the folks urge is inevitable.
How, then, will Citizen Powell discuss social and economic issues?
Well, certainly not as Politician Powell did during a recent interview with Bill O'Reilly, when on the topic of the nation's education problems, he simply called for more spending, with not a word about crucial realities, including the one his host pointed out when he reported that the US spends more on education than any other nation.
No, Citizen Powell will insist upon a revival of discipline, serious purpose, high standards, and carefully researched innovation in our schools.
And since he understandably has a special interest in lifting up the black underclass, he will be adamant that no amount of money government can realistically spend will solve the education crisis in the nation's inner cities while those areas are plagued by the problems of incredible numbers of children bearing children and a vast population of single mothers doomed to an impoverished, culturally degraded life.
In that effort, he will loudly proclaim that neither a manifesto nor a government program can change the fact that the family is the fundamental unit of society.
Moreover, he will display the courage to constructively criticize politicians and community leaders who, worshipping political dogma or money or both, have stood by silently as a family structure broke down, one which, irony of ironies, had stood firm despite the onslaughts resulting from the evils of slavery and post-Reconstruction segregation.
Of course, Citizen Powell will display unrelenting honesty and fierce, pragmatic wisdom regarding those precise instances in which he believes more funding can improve primary and secondary education.
However, when profligate politicians expediently play the college card, he'll roar that decades of feed-the-beast policies by those same politicians have resulted in a $1 trillion bubble of still rising student loan debt, a good part of it held by young people who were suckered by institutions that never told them they would be better served by a community college, trade, or technical school.
He'll issue another roar that points out a frightening fact reported by cbsnews.com, specifically, that individually, the country's total credit card debt ($640 billion) and home equity loan debt ($600 billion) are not just hugely less than $1 trillion but, unlike student loan debt, have been in a downward trend.
And he'll let out yet one more mighty roar when he calls attention to data (bloomberg.com) showing that over the past 35 years, the cost of food has risen 200%, housing 380%, and medical care 600% -- while the cost of attending college has exploded an insulting, unsustainable, and truly insane 1120%.
Politician Powell again spoke with stunning irresponsibility when he told O'Reilly that the federal government's enormous financial mess will be cleaned up simply by "an improving economy and an economy that's spread out more [sic]."
However, his comments about education alone prove the wisdom of the sensible Americans who ask him to imitate the bravely honest, fiercely independent, unashamedly blunt General and Citizen William Tecumseh Sherman, who said all that needs to be said about politicians when he promised, "If nominated I will not run; if elected, I will not serve."
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