Ry Cooder came out with a new album recently. One of his songs has Jesus talking with the late singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie ("Jesus and Woody"). As they lament the rise of hatred, Jesus says to Woody: Well, I've been the Savior now for such a long time. And I've seen it all before. You good people better get together, Or you ain't got a chance anymore. (For purposes of this column, I define "good people" as those who prefer love over what someone has described as hatred's milder cousin, resentment).
Can something be both heartbreaking and ugly at the same time? We now know the answer is yes, as we witness the brutal confirmation process of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh grind on. As I write this, that nomination is on a one week "pause" as the FBI looks into sexual assault allegations from Judge Kavanaugh's past.
When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.—Winston Churchill. Sometimes it feels like our political environment is just another television "reality show." It can have that effect. Actual reality: like a nasty infection, divisiveness continues to spread across our nation. The great mystics recommended love and union as the bottom line in life, but it seems that we are increasingly turning our backs on that wisdom.
I initially submitted a different column than the one you're reading now. For a variety of reasons, I contacted the paper on Monday and asked them to pull the column. They graciously complied, even though I can imagine what that does to the already-busy people who are working up to a deadline. Anyway, I'm glad I pulled that column back. I wrote it in a reactionary mode, and I didn't even realize that I was stuck in it. I was certain that I had a correct (and potentially humorous) read on the Trump-Putin Summit in Helsinki.