Monday, November 22, 2004

Loss

This is a day of loss.

Who of us who knows this day can forget this day?

Who of us knows what we lost. What future might have been.

Who of us knows what we might have become.

When the president of the United States says:

When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.

You know we have all lost.

Now the trumpet summons us again -- not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need -- not as a call to battle, though embattled we are -- but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation" -- a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty and war itself.

And, when the President speaks of the presidency

The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.

Perhaps something more than the president died 41 years ago.

Maybe our Republic died with it.

And maybe that is the way is should be.

For that is the way it is.

It is time to seek a new contract with the people.

Time to speak of a new bond between us.

Time to build an earth family.

All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, not in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.

We must learn to turn loss into gain.


2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is depressing to see how the public discourse of our leaders has devolved to the political dribble we hear today.

10:09 PM  
Blogger StagirasGhost said...

THe same day saw the deaths of of Aldous Huxley and C.S. Lewis, within hours of Kennedy's death.

Three schools of thought buried their respective leaders, days later.

Only two were coincidental.

11:19 PM  

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