Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Remembering Ambassador Wilson's Wisdom Teaching

Back in October I wrote a post on the extraordinary reaction of Joseph Wilson to the Libby indictment, and this may be the right time to recall the lesson Mr. Wilson taught us then. So, for all those who are tempted to party and celebrate the fall of Jack Abramoff, remember this:

Notice carefully, ladies and gentlemen: Mr. Wilson did not appear before his audience with a "Mission (almost) Accomplished" banner unfurled behind him. He did not crow over his seemingly imminent victory over those who attempted to villify his family. Instead, he offered us a beautiful lesson in humility.

Exultant victory is the mark of the tyrant and the voice of the fool. When you have won a victory in either Justice or in a simple game, the best response is gratitude. I'm sure that, assuming the appropriate people are indicted and made to answer for their crimes, Mr. Wilson will feel a sense of gratitude at the justice he and his wife will have received. But he refuses to gloat over another man's misfortune, no matter what that man might have done (or attempted to do) to him.

In short, this is not a time to celebrate; it is a time to be grateful for the justice that is being done, and otherwise to mourn the fact that our government has been so pervasively poisoned by greed, arrogance, and complacency. Let me assure you, it comes from the very top down; and so it will require the perseverance of every freethinking citizen in this land—maybe unto the next generation—to fully cleanse the toxic infestation that has taken over every corner of Washington.

This is barely the beginning of the revolution to come. So let me submit that if you are partying over the fall of Jack Abramoff, you are no progressive, but a grandstanding fool.


Read of the week (and, so far, of the year), from one of the wisest men of our time, Howard Zinn: "After the War". When you're through with that, try his masterpiece, A People's History of the United States. This man is a national treasure.

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