The pendulum, it swings


They say the cells in our bodies replace themselves every seven years or so. I’ve never noticed these changes taking place, but at the cellular level, I’m told, it’s obvious. So, why doesn’t a scar disappear over the course of seven years? I mean, has the body forgotten its original shape and color?

Should we take this phenomena as a message from nature telling us that we are the totality of our current shape? If that is the case, nature’s job would be to maintain the person we have become, not the original prototype. We progress with what we have. If we no longer have a gall bladder or a thumb or a wart on our nose due to choice or accident then we continue to exist as the sum and total of our current parts. We will continue to exist as long as the remaining organism can function.

What about our brain? It remembers the wart, gall bladder, and thumb doesn’t it? What place does that memory have in the scheme of things? Shouldn’t the brain, as it grows each new cell over seven years, erase the memory of the excised organ, appendage or blemish? Well, it doesn’t. The brain retains knowledge over the course of its existence without regard to its apparent usefulness. It knows what we are and what we were.

If we think of our nation as a body, and we consider politicians as the replaced cells of the nation we can use this metaphor to consider our current political state of being. The new ‘president’ cell of our nation is preparing to excise part of our body. Now, that missing wart was cancerous, the gall bladder came out due to medical necessity, and the thumb was an accident, but this new excision will be an intentional detachment of an essential component for reasons that are not so clear.

An accident is happenstance, an operation does what is best for the patient,a cancerous virus is counter productive to good health. All of these extractions from a body make sense. The dubious amputations proposed by Donald Trump will remove essential organs from the nation’s body so it is worth a close examination of his proposals and behavior. We will want our body to continue functioning after he is gone.

The nation is basically healthy, but it could lose a few pounds around the middle. Attempts to reduce the bloat make sense but a doctor would suggest a different diet rather than the proposal from Mr. Trump. A medically sound choice would be based on science and pragmatic choices. The Trump approach is based in raw emotion. He feels some of our appendages are unattractive so he wants them removed. These appendages have functions that are integral to the body and its operation, but from his perspective they don’t look good and removing them would reduce weight, so “off with her…whatever”.

The reasoning functions of our new leader are severely lacking, as is the moral compass we expect in our leaders. As a result the choices he makes may cause us to lose some toes, a finger and perhaps a leg if he is in the mood. Our body will have to limp along in its new condition forever. The resultant nation will remember what it was like to be whole because the brain doesn’t forget, but the cells won’t regenerate the leg that used to be there. The brain doesn’t get away unscathed because it is where the body’s moral center exists. The moral component of the body will be chopped down to fit our new leader’s shape. We may remember the old moral standards but we will be destined to live in the remaining moral shell of bigotry, vengeance and petty emotionalism.

Does our nation want this future? Our political pendulum swings between conservative and liberal over the course of time giving each extreme a chance to lead. I was in awe of the massive three story pendulum I saw on a class trip to a science museum as a kid. The big weight at the end of the string had a point on the bottom that drew a line in the sand on the floor as it swept back and forth. It was a beautiful sight to behold as the pendulum drew new lines coinciding with the rotation of the earth. A fellow student who was jealous of the movement of the pendulum and its lines in the sand climbed over the ropes protecting it. He hit the weight, throwing it off course, drawing new, irregular and haphazard lines, destroying the previous symmetry. The museum intended the display to teach a lesson, but that lesson was no longer evident. Donald Trump is that jealous child; his actions will alter both the liberal and conservative swing of the pendulum. Our body and our moral center will be permanently altered in the process.

So, what's on your mind?