What this culture sorely lacks is elders. Smart, removed, wise elders.
We all know if you get too far left or too far right (especially too far right), you run into trouble.
If we had elders who could watch over us, elders who are removed and dispassionate and simply wise, we could ask them to help us. To keep us moderate. To temper the worst in us, especially when we think it is the best in us. The elders could advise us since they have already seen it all.
The elders could say, “Listen, you can’t get too greedy, because when you do, you are too busy trying to collect instead of trying to create. So your products suck. And eventually everything collapses.” They could say that to GM.
Or, the elders could say, “Listen, don’t get too communist with these corn growers. Because then, all you have is a lot of corn. And you’re going to use the corn, for sure. And people get really fat from corn.”
Elders could warn Obama, “Don’t spread yourself too thin, you thin man. Start with two, at most, three programs. And nurture them like crazy. And get everyone on board, focused. If you try to do too much at once, you’re going to make a mess of things.”
Elders could tell Sarah Palin, “You should go back to school. In your case, this would mean keeping very quiet and reading many many books that we will supply.”
Elders could have stopped Nixon. “Spend more time in China. Less with that tape recorder obsession. Obsessions always end in tears.”
Wise, dispassionate elders could have told Hillary Clinton, “If you want to win this one, you better stop acting like you deserve it more than anyone else. People get turned off by that sort of thing.”
Elders could have told G.W., “Though God might be your thing, you have a job to do. If you get too caught up in the clouds or in your holy hunches, the world will fall apart all around you. You act too much by “Godly” impulses and you start playing God. And that’s a holy shame.”
Elders. We need elders.