07 June 2011

Not Them,That's For Certain!

A story is told: 
The end was near, and the near ones had been called. Moishe lay on his death. His breathing was labored and his eyes remained closed. He lay silently and motionless. Then, weakly, he opened his eyes and looked out. He started to speak but his voice was weak and low. “Is Pearl here?” At his side his loving wife of forty five years sat holding his right hand in hers. She was crying. “Yes, Moishe, I’m right here.” There was another moment of silence. “And Alvy,” Moishe gasped, “is my oldest son, Alvy, here?” A gray-haired man about sixty years old and dressed in a well-tailored suit stepped forward. “Yes, Dad, I’m here. And so is my brother, Aaron.” And the younger brother stepped forward and took his father’s left hand in his own. Pearl looked up. “And your sister, Rachel, is here, Moishe, and Aunt Sadie. Even your two beautiful grandchildren are here with you now. Look, Sydney and Calvin.” And Moishe’s eyes opened again and he looked slowly about. “Everybody is here?” he asked. “Yes, Dad, we are all here with you,” Aaron said warmly. Moishe suddenly sat up alert, and in a clear, stern voice asked, “Well, and so who’s minding the store?” 
That question sits central to my mind as I read the daily news. Who’s minding the store? In recent weeks (alone!) there have been revelations of extra-marital philandering on the part of the former Governor of California whose love-child is now ten years old; criminal charges made against a former candidate for Vice-President and President, practices illegally initiated in an attempt to cover up his extra-marital sexual liaison and love-child; rape charges brought against the head of the International Monetary Fund; and now the revelation that yes, indeed, those pictures were actually of Anthony Wiener and he had, indeed, sent them out to young women (some of them a bit young) across this great land!  And lest we forget: Sandford and Spitzer and Thurmond and Limbaugh and Gingrich, et al. It sorely troubles me when I consider how inappropriately, nay, immorally, our current leaders behave. I am ashamed and appalled by the choices government (and would-be government) officials make in their private lives while they legislate morality for the rest of us. I am angry at the shameless stupidity exhibited by our self-professed political leaders. Just recently Sarah Palin embarrassingly erred in her recounting of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, a story every fifth grader knows thoroughly. And just recently Michelle Bachman spoke ineloquently and incorrectly about the location where occurred the shot heard ‘round the world. (I can be certain that she doesn’t know from where the phrase originates: Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “The Concord Hymn”). And just recently the Republican aspirant for high office, Herman Cain, attributed to the Constitution words written in the Declaration of Independence. 
Who is minding the store here isn’t a question of quantity, as it might have been for Moishe, it is a real question of quality. It is apparent to me from the regular reports in the newspapers that, indeed, no one is minding the store. Or certainly not enough honest folk to keep the thieves and murderers at bay. 


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