Apologies in advance for those who do not like relevant parables. I just think that this one appropriately describes what is wrong with today’s Republican party.
Once upon a time there was a handsome tribe of Indians who lived near the north end of the Great Plains. As the young men of this tribe came of age, they were each required to perform some act of strength or courage to demonstrate their manhood. Upon reaching the appropriate age, one such youth determined within himself to climb to the highest peak of a distant mountain range. Saying goodbye to his family, he set off and began his journey. Upon reaching the base of the mountains early in the morning, the brave cinched his buckskin blouse tightly around his waist and began ascending. As the youth climbed higher and higher, the air became thinner and thinner and his breathing became labored. After seemingly endless hours, he had reached the point in elevation where the trees of the forest could no longer survive and still he continued climbing, proud that his goal seemed to be within reach. Soon, however, far above the tree line, the Indian boy reached to grip a large boulder but recoiled at the sight of a large and fierce-looking rattlesnake laying next to the rock.
“Please,” intoned the serpent. “I am left here helpless, where the snow falls, and if I cannot be warmed, I shall surely die.” Blinking, the boy replied, “but you are a rattlesnake!” “Yes,” the snake conceded, “But I need your mercy and, unless you help me, I shall die . . . please pick me up and carry me down. I promise not to harm you.” The Indian brave realized that by showing mercy to a rattlesnake he might somehow profit from his kindness.
Taking the snake into his arms and placing it next to his breast, the youth continued his ascent to the peak of the tallest mountain. Satisfied that he had proved his manhood, the boy descended rapidly, eager to return to his tribe and recount his daring journey. Contrary to what he experienced going up, as the boy returned to the lower altitudes, the air became warmer, and upon reaching the base of the mountains, he deemed it sufficiently warm to release his needy passenger.
Pulling the snake from his blouse, the brave said, “now, my friend, it is warm down here . . .” but as he spoke a blinding-quick flash struck him on his neck. The poisonous snake’s venomous fangs sunk deep into the youth’s veins, delivering a killing bite. Wild-eyed and staggering the boy croaked, “but you were dying! . . .you needed me! . . .I saved your life!” Slithering away, the snake barely took pains to reply: “you knew what I was when you picked me up.”
Too many times have Republicans been sent to Washington to “change the way business is conducted” there. Too many times, they have succumbed to the pressures of pleasing the beltway media. Unfortunately, it appears inevitable that Republicans in Washington will attempt to please their media and political adversaries by conceding to their demands in a quest to be “fair minded” and “pragmatic.” Too many times the media mouths fed by these uneducated Republicans turn to bite their benefactors. The wound is often fatal.
Republicans must realize what their political opponents are and what they and their allies in the media represent. But we know what they are, and it is at our peril that we trust them for friendship and fairness.