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Thinking on Jack and the Beanstalk
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As the impending presidential election in those United States of America draw closer and closer, Americans, as well as those of us who live on the other sides of the great ponds that encircle those United States, have been regaled with definitions of the moral standards of candidates and whether or not the behaviors of candidates are fit and proper standards for America’s youth, and, by extension, the youth of the rest of the world who imbibe all things American, to use as guiding posts as they grow into adulthood and take control of the affairs of the planet from a dying generation.
The Distinguished Senator from New Hampshire, Ms. Kelly Ayotte, for instance, stated, during a televised debate with her opponent, Ms. Maggie Hasan, the current governor of said state, that she was of the opinion that Mr Trump was a perfectly good role model for children; a statement she walked back a few hours after the debate blaming it on that famous American political word, misspeak!
New Hampshire Senator, Ms. Kelly Ayotte
Now, misspeak is actually a real ENGLISH word, but to blame the poor word for all the misspokeness that politicians misspeak seems to me a bit hard on a word that was, just two decades back, resting quietly in the dark recesses of Chambers and Webster’s.
The defense of misspeaking can, we have seen in the last several days, be used by a misspeaker to attack another alleged misspeaker to justify the original misspeaker's misspokeness. Mr Donald Trump, apologizing for a particular misspeak (not for all of his misspeeches, of course), attacks President Clinton for misspeaking to him on a golf course! WOW!
In a subsequent apology, Mr Trump continued with his character attacks on President Clinton. But, as Ms. Ana Navarro pointed out on CNN just a few days ago, Mr. Clinton has already been President and is not on this ticket but, in the Breibart-inspired world of misspeeches, this means nothing. Indeed, the GOP's misspeaker-in-chief, the candidate himself, Mr Donald Trump, misspeaking just a few days back, suggested, without a shred of evidence, that Hillary has been unfaithful to Bill! This was a followup on the amazing assertion in another misspeech by Mr Trump's surrogate-in-chief, the former Mayor of the Big Apple, Mr Rudy Giuliani, that everyone, yes, everyone, cheats on his or her spouse! He should know, as does his principal! Between them, one can hardly keep track of the numbers of wives they've gone through.
Hitting on Jack of the Beanstalk fame!
Now, putting aside the politics for the nonce, what is it that we teach our children when we dish out unthinkingly the stories that many of us were brought up on? The story of Jack and the Beanstalk comes to mind. If I recall properly, Jack is the hero who did the evil giant in!
Jack, having found a means to enter into private property, steals the property owner’s stuff and then kills him. Jack is a HERO!
Jack is a trespasser. Jack is a burglar. Jack is a thief. Jack is a murderer. Jack is deserving of every penalty that the law can impose. In many of the states that make up those United States of America, Jack would be on death row; there are many who are on that row for having done less!
So many of us, irrespective of race, ethnicity, nationality, religion….whatever, grew up on these kinds of folk tales; I am, myself, a collector and writer of such tales. But, most of us understand that these stories are essentially cautionary tales. It is those who never grew out of the idyllic bliss of childhood tales, those folk who still inhabit never-never land, who hold tight to these ideas; it’s like belief in Santa Claus!
Do I justify to my daughter that I raped, molested, or whatever, a woman because Zeus did that, having taking the form of a bull, to Europa? So that if, God forefend, she is in any such situation I’ll tell her: it’s okay, darling!
Living in the Bubble
For those bubble livers, I have just a word, or three.
The GOP Vice Presidential candidate, Mr Pence, does himself, his family, America and the world at large a disservice when he pretends, as he did at his debate with Mr Kaine, that Mr Trump never said all the things he is on record as saying. Mr Pence, a self-declared Christian, is, please forgive my bluntness, just as much a liar as is his principal.
The same applies to the Ryans and Ayottes who inhabit the GOP; folk who bury their heads in the sands and hope that all will pan out well. When these people, the real basket of deplorables, try to create a false equivalency between Hillary and Mr Trump, rational people stare in wide-mouthed astonishment! But then, they first make mad, those whom the gods would destroy!
“La plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu'il n'existe pas." Roughly translated, the finest trick of the devil is to convince you of his non-existence.