HATE IS NOT A FAMILY VALUE, “AND THE WISDOM TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE”
by Michael Webb – is running for US Congress, Alexandria, VA
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” The Serenity Prayer, True Author Unknown.
As a sophomore (literally a “wise fool”) in high school, we took “Gee, I’m a tree (environmentalist joke, perhaps, but a favorite quote from our instructor),” we were taught the many theorems and postulates, from which a set of corollaries were derived, that ordered that realm of what Dr. David Shannon, former president of Virginia Union University, and friend of my dad, but also friend and big fan of Mean Joe Green, so often called “mathematicus” (Sorry, Charlie Keller, had to use the “black speak,” again, at great risk of offending your “polite society.).
Think back, and how many can you still recall from rote memory? “A quantity is congruent (equal) to itself.” “If a = b, then b = a.” “A quantity may be substituted for its equal in any expression.” “The whole is equal to the sum of its parts.” “Two points determine a straight line.” “From a given point on (or not on) a line, one and only one perpendicular can be drawn to the line.” Pythagoras the Samian (not simian) certainly takes credit for noting “in a right-angled triangle, the area of the square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the areas of the squares of the other two sides,” but who knows who “has apparently thought deeply about many of the real challenges . . . and didn’t just toss out the DC consultant approved pabulum most . . . pass-off as their platform.”
Hate is too great a burden to bear Hate is not a family value
And, in life, as in politics, its mirror in expression, there are certain bright line rules and Horn book laws inviolate that bring us to a better place, call it heaven, if you will. “Love, and do anything you want.” “’No’ means ‘no.’” “All men are created equal.” “Ask not what your country can do for you.” “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” “Justice delayed is justice denied.” “God’s work on earth must truly be our own.” “Tear down this wall.” “Liberty and union, one and inseparable, now and forever.” “Duty, honor, country.” “I have a dream.” “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.” “Hate is too great a burden to bear.” As the attached link, below, attests, it matters not who said it first or last because, “we hold these truths to be self-evident.”
In a world vexed by constant crisis and turmoil, how do we stay on the path for the march towards freedom? In the din of political oratory and rhetoric, stirring unbridled passion and less than rational thought, how do we escape the price of being found drunk with the wine of the world? How do we negotiate the labyrinthine maze and avoid consumption by the Minotaur? How do we resist the siren’s song to steer the ship of state away from the craggy rock and final rest in ocean deep? How do we not betray the faith of our fathers and avoid breaching the promise of the blessings of liberty. How do we remain citizens of a shining city on a hill, and not descend to a state of nature and a life “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short?”
In the film, Courage Under Fire, the Denzel Washington character LTC Serling was a tank commander in Desert Storm, faced with a night engagement where his troop of M1 Abrams Tanks had been infiltrated by Iraqis in Soviet tanks. In the confusion that ensued, LTC Serling had his gunner acquire a target and fire at a tank that he thought belonged to the enemy aggressors, but which turned out to be one of his own—one of his best.
But, real leaders don’t falter, even in challenging moments, because they have spent years, not just reciting slogans, but exercising their character muscles, and in those moments that muscle memory goes to work. LTC Serling, as you recall from the film, did not hesitate or become flustered, but rather became inspired and fired up. “Turn on your lights! Turn on your lights! Tell everyone to turn on your lights!”
He knew that the Soviet model tanks, while lethal in battle, were equipped only with night vision, but did not have lights for illumination. And that made them readily identifiable as targets to engage, destroy and defeat when our lights were turned on. “Light ‘em up!” “Smoke ‘em, if you got ‘em.” “Lock and load. And watch your lane.”
HATE IS NOT A FAMILY VALUE
Military expert Seb Gorka has said, most recently at the Heritage Foundation during their observance of 9/11, that if we are to defeat the threat of global terror and radical Islam, we will not win that war with boots on ground and troops in theater, even “equipped with the best technology” as one candidate who hopes to win and ask the Speaker to do.
No. While it may help environmental problems with which my self-confessed, far less conservative rival is more familiar, Seb and I have actually worked with troops engaged in the fight and know too well that “technology” is not the right answer in many military situations, and in many of those the answers require the antithesis. And I agree with Seb that this victory, like Reagan’s victory over an Evil Empire, will be a triumph of superior ideas. We must stand on our tippy toes of right and principle, reach for the stars, turn on our lights and be that “shining city on a hill.”
And, I submit, that to win as a nation in November without this thought. We cannot lay in a hammock and hope that a conservative boon has blessed us without our toil. But, rather, we must turn on our lights, and, like Diogenes, seek out other honest men and women to keep whole, if not holy, the fabric of freedom, that a truth might keep marching on. On this earth, God’s work must truly be our own. And, so we pray, as St. Francis of Assisi did:
“Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.”
Because Hate is not a family value – Everyone deserves a second chance; so, let’s make Americans great, again. I am Mike Webb, and I am running for U.S. Congress. Honest.
by Michael Webb – is running for US Congress, Alexandria, VA