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Eyes of the Nation

  • November 29, -0001
The function of our eyes, at least in part, is to convey information to the brain about our immediate surroundings, thus allowing the brain to calculate the best course of action, say, around the jutting edge of a cedar chest. It is important, therefore, that our eyes be clearly focused and consider all obstacles within their immediate horizon, so that the brain, discerning short-term troubles, can guide the body to avoid long-term pain.

But when the eyes are distracted or obscured - whether by darkness or thought - or when, as may sometimes be, they are bereft of their wonted lens - unpleasantries eventuate: in my case, a bruised thigh.

Which throbbed yesterday as I read America's First Lady of Verse, Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672). The Lord has His way of chiding us for careless behavior, and warning us against future recurrences. Mrs. Bradstreet gently reminded me, in one of her "Contemplations," "Dim eyes are the concomitants of old age..." Slow down, she seemed to say. Don't be in such a hurry. Make sure you can see what stands in the way before you turn the next corner. I needed that precisely one hour before I read it.

Her Contemplation continues, though, with salient advice for the nation: "Dim eyes are the concomitants of old age, and shortsightedness in those that are the eyes of a republic fortells (sic) a declining state." The nation closed its books on the most recent fiscal year nearly $1 trillion more in debt than the previous year - the largest national debt ever incurred, nearly $1 1/3 trillion, an amount unthinkable to any previous Administration or generation.

The eyes of our republic are shortsighted with economic bandaids and political advantage. Now health care reform must be foisted on the nation before the end of the year, if possible, and, after that, we can be sure that another run will be made at cap-and-trade legislation. But, while rough edges, snares, pitfalls, and dead-ends are jutting out on every hand, our nation's leaders are rushing toward their vision of a bright tomorrow, a vision which exists only in their fancies, and the pursuit of which, before they achieve it (though no nation following such a course ever has), will occasion many bumps, bruises, contusions, and upheavals in the body of the American people.

Our leaders are lurching after fancies without carefully considering the path on which they are leading us for the future. And we can be sure of this: sooner, rather than later - but later as well, to be sure - if we continue on this path, pain and suffering await us. I'll recover from mine. Will the nation?

T. M. Moore

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