“A compassionate government keeps faith with the trust of the people and cherishes the future of their children.”
– Lyndon B. Johnson
When I was a kid, my family would watch black and white horror movies together on Halloween. During commercials, my parents would exchange tales of ghosts and, supposedly, occult occurrences my relatives had witnessed over the generations.
Little did my mother realize how many Halloween nights I lay awake in my bed until dawn came, my head filled with images of ghosts, vampires and werewolves. My childhood fear of such creatures made me wonder where this strange holiday originated.
For my Celtic ancestors, the year was divided into two sections: the “light months” of spring and summer, and the “dark months” of fall and winter. Oct. 31, for my ancestors, represented the transition between the “light” and “dark” months, a time when the wall between these two worlds was the weakest. It was a “twilight” time when spirits, both malicious and benign, from the otherworld could travel freely into this world.
Our tradition of “trick-or-treat” stems from the Celtic attempt to appease these spirits with offerings. Likewise, the costumes our children don each year originated when the Celts would disguise themselves as spirits in order to avoid harm. Historical research has caused my mind to formulate some rather chilling parallels in modern America.
During a “twilight” time of our own, when America was weakened by an unpopular war and an economy on the downslide, we elected a group of malicious spirits into our political midst. We started by electing a master magician to the top rung of our political structure. With the expertise of the best stage magician, President Obama and his cohorts have caused us all to look at the left hand while the right hand pulls rabbits from his hat.
It has become obvious even to his supporters that “transparency in government” is no more than the ghost of the election past. A healthcare bill filled with political favors promised treats for the American people, but it is actually no more than a trick to buy the highest office of our country. Like the “czars” appointed by Obama, it is another twisting of power to gain by deception what cannot be gained through the political system.
But Obama’s trickery is not the only illusion forced on the American people. Our house and senate have become filled with self-preserving fiends who seek to solve national debt by spending voraciously. Starting with the infamous “bailout,” these beasts want it to appear that they are sacrificing all in order to save America. In actuality, the bailout rewarded bad management and did nothing to force corporations into more efficient operations. The healthcare reform presents a government option that adds billions onto the national debt, places more citizens on the government dole than at any other time in history, and does nothing to tackle tort reform. While forcing this burden onto the taxpayer, our beasts made sure they were exempt from it.
However, our children will not be exempt from a current $16-plus trillion national debt, surpassing any this country has experienced and leaving the average household with a liability of more than $136,000. Nor will they be exempt from the rising costs of private insurance caused by the healthcare reform. Like vampires, the actions taken by the current administration will suck the life from generations yet unborn.
This year, it isn’t my mother’s stories keeping me awake; it’s my child’s financial future stolen by this legislative body. The political twilight came four years ago, and we have been living the horror of invasion by the spirits of dead socialism ever since.
This year, we have a chance to cause a new dawn which, as with the legendary werewolf, will transform our government from the slavering beast we have seen during this period to the honorable and victorious America we all remember.
Come election day, let us not cower under our beds fearing the dark. Let us hold our torches of reform high and march forth to drive the beasts from their political castles.
(Dennis Jones is a Martinez resident.)