Friday, January 30, 2009

What Kind Of Ruler Are You?

In the political world, President Barack Obama is catching heat from some of the left for trying to compromise with Republicans and pushing forward a stimulus package the left deems inferior. To make matters worse, despite all his efforts, Obama couldn't get a single Republican vote in the House for his package.

That got me to thinking. Which of course got me to writing.

Rick James once said that "cocaine is a helluva drug." Jay-Z once rapped that fame is the strongest drug known to man. I think they are both wrong.

Power is that good ish.

Most of y'all have heard about the corrupting influence of power. Any marginal student of history has seen this truth proven over and over by all sorts of men. Power is seductive, it's addictive and it's transformative. There is no comparable force on this planet, except maybe faith, and very few people chase faith the way they chase power.

America's political system is governed by one simple rule:"He who has the power makes the rules." Minority political parties, just like racial minorities, are often reduced to begging to be treated as equal partners by those groups in the majority. Rarely does this begging and pleading produce anything besides crumbs and jeers, but it's really the only recourse available to those without power.

The funny thing is, most of us have been powerless in our lives. We've experienced the frustration and anger that comes from having our fate decided by someone else. Maybe it was your super strict parents refusing to allow you to date that cute boy with the motorcycle and dimples. Or possibly it was your idiot boss and his brain dead management style. Whatever it was, nobody in this world has wielded power since birth, we've all been at mercy of others.

Yet, whenever the power dynamic shifts, whenever an oppressed group manages to wrest power away for their oppressors, we see the same sad morality play acted out again. The actors may change, but the roles and the plot typically stays the same. More people need to remember what it was like to be powerless, when they assume power. How a man or woman behaves when they have the power to inflict pain is the true measure of their humanity, not how they behave when they are powerless. When we have the ability to punish, but yet show our enemies kindness, then we can be proud of who we are and what we represent.

Otherwise, what's the point?





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7 comments:

MacDaddy said...

Good post. And true at all levels: in family, community, state and national affairs. Same thing.

Big Man said...

Thanks man.

I had to temper some stuff in the post because of my new concern about being overtly political. Initially it was going to be more of a dissection of Obama's strategy and my thoughts on it. Ultimately I decided to talk about the underlying concept in this, which is how a minority should wield power once it becomes the majority. Thanks for reading.

Deacon Blue said...

I think what's even more a shame is when someone tries on some level to really include the minority's concerns, and then they still want to pout and say, "I won't vote for that." The desire to wield power inappropriate and the desire to sulk and try to stymie the other side are both powerful forces...and both tied to the corrupting influence of power.

After all, the power to pout and block (in politics or in relationships personally) is age-old.

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