An Old Politician and a Young Politician were travelling through a beautiful country, by the dusty highway which leads to the City of Prosperous Obscurity. Lured by the flowers and the shade and charmed by the songs of birds which invited to woodland paths and green fields, his imagination fired by glimpses of golden domes and glittering palaces in the distance on either hand, the Young Politician said:
“Let us, I beseech thee, turn aside from this comfortless road leading, thou knowest whither, but not I. Let us turn our backs upon duty and abandon ourselves to the delights and advantages which beckon from every grove and call to us from every shining hill. Let us, if so thou wilt, follow this beautiful path, which, as thou seest, hath a guide-board saying, ‘Turn in here all ye who seek the Palace of Political Distinction.’”
“It is a beautiful path, my son,” said the Old Politician, without either slackening his pace or turning his head, “and it leadeth among pleasant scenes. But the search for the Palace of Political Distinction is beset with one mighty peril.”
“What is that?” said the Young Politician.
“The peril of finding it,” the Old Politician replied, pushing on.
- 30 -
What we have these days are nothing but Occupiers of the Palace of Political Distinction these days. The City of Prosperous Obscurity, well, is largely a theoretical construct as far as modern American politics are concerned above a certain level. Many of the counties in the US are larger than small countries and many of the states are more important on the world scene than many of the middlin' to not-so-middlin' size countries. Hell, all of this damn fool talk of the Russian Bear, our own Golden Bear, Cali-fuckin'-fornia, has about twice the GDP as Russia. Jerry Brown should tell the Italians to get TF out of the G7 and take their place. Russia has nukes, so you got to give them those props, but Italy has great wine, hot coffee (and good!), and, Sophia Loren (thank you, Italy! Really, thank you), but that doesn't mean it can punch with the Golden Bear.
Marcus Aurelius might have, going with our Roman/Italian thing), but in the age of Trump, he's pushed it up to 11...
Yeah, kinda, arbitrary, but it's a great scene from a great movie, and the YouTube video was posted 11-11-11... Well, the Palace of Political Distinction is all around us now. The Saudis are going to try to squeeze on the Qataris? Well, that's all fine and good, but the Yanks and the Brits like to park their planes at Al Udeid Air Base, which, oh by the way, is in Qatar. They may have stepped in it with this, especially with ISIL/ISIS/Daesh attacking Iran, making clearer (though people are goddamned resistant to evidence) that while Iran may sponsor terrorists (elements of Hizballah, supposedly Muslim Brotherhood, but I suspect that's very tactical as opposed to the deeper ties with Hizballah), they oppose ISIL pretty damn vigorously, and Saudi and their Sunni Gulf state posse are much more responsible for ISIL and the terrorism that people around the world deal with than does Iran. The problem is once poke your head up, some one takes a poke at your head.
Thank you, Ambrose Bierce, for another Fantastic Fable.