Not exactly where I had intended to start, this week, but it’s a significant enough development that I can be flexible.
So, Cruz has “suspended his campaign,” leaving (realistically) only Trump as a viable Republican candidate (and believe me, I see all of the levels of irony in that statement). Enough pixels have been dedicated to bemoaning this, and to the “alack and alas” that would befall us should Trump, in fact, be elected; I won’t go there. I also won’t directly link to any of the mass media punditocracy’s analyses, mea culpas, etc.; I find they’re almost unavoidable, at this point.
No, I’ll take a moment to reflect, and to post a snippet from another blog, where the author was describing the “suicide of a country.” Venezuela, to be precise, but the parallels to certain movements within our own country are striking:
No, national suicide is a much longer process-not product of any one moment. But instead, one bad idea, upon another, upon another and another and another and another and the wheels that move the country began to grind slower and slower; rust covering their once shiny facades. Revolution – cold and angry. Hate as a political strategy. Law, used to divide and conquer. Regulation used to punish. Elections used to cement dictatorship…
Now, hopefully we never get to that last bit. Regulation used to punish? Law to divide and conquer? Just ask any LBGT person you know. (First they came for the marriage licenses… Then they came for the bathrooms?) They haven’t quite got “regulation” and “law” separated, yet–or, maybe, the “punish” from the “divide and conquer”. But I’m sure it won’t be long. And hate as political strategy has been on display since well before the beginning of the campaigning. I’d venture to say at least since 2008, and probably even longer. “Revolution cold and angry” hasn’t happened yet, either–and that’s another one I’d rather not see.
(While I’m here, I should note that the author continued on to a very Ayn Randian sort of place; while I may agree with the part I cited, I don’t think he necessarily drew the most accurate conclusions…)
Enough of that, though (for this week). I mentioned learning a bit more about our homestead. It seems that some of our neighbors have lived in the area their whole lives–and they’re roughly my parents’ age. My wife has been talking with some of them, and discovered that hogs were indeed slaughtered in the “back barn,” once upon a time. In fact, it was a butcher shop, back in the days before consistent refrigeration. They also mentioned that the entire community would gather in the fall, when it was time for the “big slaughter,” and everyone would pitch in. (I would assume for a “cut” of the proceeds, if you’ll pardon the pun.)
This paints a very rosy picture of what the area was like, as recently as the 60’s and 70’s. (Explains some of the items still to be found in the barn, too!) A group that could all get together and pitch in , when there was work to be done. A community helping each other out, and sharing in the fruits of the labor. Sounds rather like one of my ideals.
Now, we’re not going to be raising hogs. (Goats, probably next year; there’s work to do, yet.) But I would enjoy being able to get everyone together, even if not to accomplish some Grand Task–but just to build the community. It would make my heart glad.