If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. Anne Bradstreet

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Ether 12:27

Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season therof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul. And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion. D&C 59:18-20

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hamlet -- a lesson for our day?

Former President Clinton today said the "vast right-wing conspiracy" that Hilary thought was responsible for trying to bring Bill down during his presidency is still virulent and now aimed at President Obama. Clinton seems incapable of understanding honest dissent and disagreement -- one can't oppose a democrat without being accused of belonging to a vast right-wing conspiracy. Sigh!

That said, there are some, on both sides of the political aisle, that are indeed motivated by hate and a ultra-strong desire to destroy the other party. For those people who find themselves capable of saying, I hate President Bush, or, I hate President Obama, (fill in the name as you like), you might want to take a lesson from Hamlet, because in the process of trying to destroy the President, you will destroy the Nation.

Hamlet, written by Shakespeare, is a complex work that plays to the base human emotions of revenge and hate. Many readers and critics, most in fact, consider Hamlet a hero because he revenged the murder of his father. However, I have a dissenting minority view - I believe Shakespeare wants us to see the destructive nature of hate and revenge, even to bringing a nation into captivity by an enemy.

Hamlet's father was King, and Hamlet is mourning his father's death and his mother's sudden marriage to his Uncle Claudius, now the King of Denmark. Hamlet sees a ghost which claims to be his father, which tells him that King Claudius murdered him, in his sins, and consequently he is burning in hell. His father wants him to get revenge on King Claudius.

This is the first lesson to be learned -- the murdered King is in hell because of his own sins! So, he did not live an exemplary life. How many of those who want to bring a President down have their own sins -- perhaps equal to or worse than the one they hate? First remove the beam from thine own eye, then help the brother remove the mote from his.

What results when Hamlet decides to revenge his father's murder? In one way or another, Hamlet brings about the deaths of: Polonius, his girlfriend's father; Ophelia, his girlfriend; Rosencrantz and Guildenstern; Laertes, Ophelia's brother (thus an entire family dead because of Hamlet); his uncle Claudius; his mother Gertrude; and Hamlet himself. The final scene is Hamlet giving Denmark to Denmark's worst enemy -- Prince Fortinbras of Norway. All the while, Hamlet thought himself a hero.

We are all created with reason and intelligence; and it is our constitutional duty to be engaged in our governmental processes. Rigorous debate is healthy for the nation. Party loyalty is a virtue, not a vice -- if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything! Indeed, partisanship helps the country steer a middle course.

But hatred and revenge are destructive, not productive. We see it when radical left-wingers and right-wingers severely distort the message from the other side and maliciously malign its motives. Hatred and revenge destroy, and if we do not keep these radical fringe elements in check, they may well succeed in handing over our great nation to our worst enemy -- and all the while believe they are heroes for doing so.

So, former President Clinton, there is no vast right-wing conspiracy to bring Obama down -- but there are a whole lot of very concerned Conservatives who do not want his legislation to pass. He is far too left of center for many of us. But there are a few, in the fringes on each side, that pose a real threat to the security of our great nation, and we must keep them in check.

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