Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Jumping the Fence

Truth mumbles because it is never certain. It gropes and feels its way through the complex nuances that make up our world and finds few absolutes in its travels because truth is a journey that never ends.

The lie, on the other hand, roars because the lie is not concerned with what is but with what it can make up.

The truth never arrives; the lie never begins the journey.

This is what gives the right a tremendous advantage over the left. Absolutes are the children of the lie that can be spoken with certainty and confidence.

Because there are few absolutes, the left seeks the comfort and security of numbers and makes a vain attempt to quantify the truth. Consequently, the right beats its drum while the left quietly shuffles along.

The result is that the left feels itself trapped in a dichotomy. Its followers fear that if they leave their fenced in pasture of rational exposition they will enter the jungles of demagoguery and will become as bestial as the right. For that reason, they remain fenced in, comfortable and marginalized as they wander their well-manicured pastures.

The fact that there are few absolutes does not mean the truth can’t be expressed in a way that inspires and move. The key is to discard the number and take up the poetic metaphor. Martin Luther King excelled at this. Instead of espousing long rational arguments explaining why Blacks should have equality, he sang “We Shall Overcome.” Instead of a “plan” he had a dream.

And this illustrates the key difference between demagoguery and poetic metaphor. Demagoguery is hot air blown to conceal and distract; metaphor is a flood light that illuminates that which demagoguery seeks to conceal. Demagoguery rolls in the gutter and calls it the mountain top; metaphor soars and brushes the heavens.

So let’s drop the studies and the charts and spread our wings. We express the simple truth that four moral laws govern a decent society: don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t exploit. That’s as close to the truth as we need to get.

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