Viewing TV clips from the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), two factors caught my attention: the anger in Josh Holly’s, Ted Cruz’s and Donald Trump’s speeches and the Golden Idol!
Anger arises out of fear, and fear out of ignorance. Not “ignorance” in the pejorative but definitive sense: to “ignore,” not to understand. “Understanding,” the antithesis of ignorance, leads to patience. Patience, the antithesis of anger, leads to compassion. I hasten to note, Conservatives have no monopoly on ignorance, fear and anger. Liberal cohorts’ and my speech and actions are, far too often, vitriolic and hypocritical.
As I see it fear has two roots, our ignorance and sense of vulnerability in dealing with nature and people. We fear and act to protect ourselves from floods, earthquakes, tornados, automobile accidents, cancer and COVID-19. We fear and act to protect ourselves from people who appear, speak and behave in ways foreign to our experience.
Apart from planning and diligence, there is little we can do to protect against accidents and natural disasters. Likewise, we can do very little to change or control other people’s appearance and language. Conflict arises from our inability to understand others’ beliefs and behavior and to know that our misunderstanding does not necessarily signal danger for us. This inability to understand and appreciate other people’s experience causes at least as much human suffering as Nature.
What misunderstanding and resultant fear triggered the anger beneath the January 6 assault on our Capital Building and Congress? President Turmp was explicit, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re going to lose your country.” What country? A White-Supremacist, Male-dominated, English-speaking, Heterosexual, Christian County!
The second CPAC news item to captured my attention was that Golden Idol! Googling it now, I realize that on first sight of this bizarre caricature, something in me knew it had to be hoax. Maybe snuck into the Conservative’s Conference by an embedded Liberal? But, humorous as it appears, this is no joke! Realizing it was meant to Idolize the Glorious Leader, I am stunned and bewildered! Ironically and not surprisingly, Trump’s Idol was “made in China!”
We need icons. Our Capital Building’s Statuary Hall houses graven images of America’s heroes. For Trump’s Cult, this ugly idol represents their Great White Hope.
Seeing Golden Donald, the Golden Calf leapt to mind. A glance at the internet reveals that, as often happens when I feel clever, others were out of the blocks ahead of me.
To remind us,
King James Bible
Exodus, Chapter 32
1 . . . the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said
unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us . . .
3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears,
and brought them unto Aaron.
4 . . . after he had made it a molten (golden) calf: and they said,
These be Thy gods, Oh Israel . . .
19 . . . he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot
. . .
20 And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and
ground it to powder . . .
35 And the LORD plagued the people, because they made the calf,
which Aaron made.
Beware of false Gods!