Posts Tagged ‘Republicans’

An Open Letter to Charles Darwin

August 22, 2011

An Open Letter to Charles Darwin from Jon Foyt:

Sir: When I was in college some fifty years ago (and counting)—many years after your scientific work On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (London, 1859)—I was challenged by a revered professor who demanded to know: “Why, Young Man, are you here in this college?”

I voiced a stereotypical freshman response, “To learn…” and then I paused and added, “…ah…I guess.”

He stared at me with his cold, searching academic eyes and said, “If you’re not here to both search for the truths in society and science and to study the factors that make up the human capability, what I call the human equation—the two and the only two reasons to seek higher education—then you don’t belong in this institution or in any other university today.”

I’ve pondered his words over my next half century of living.

Now, Mr. Darwin, back to your esteemed theory as reported from two decades of tireless scientific research, I wish to pose this hypothetical question: How and why has the evolution of our species—homo sapiens—gotten so off track as to eschew the truths of society and the universally-accepted axioms of science, fundamental economics, as well as the truths about the human experience with its grand potential?

Sir, I know you did not intend to forecast the future of human development in 1859, but I have to ask, even if you are not here to answer, why, in the past century and a half of human evolution, have the truths about society and science gotten lost, befogged by biases and falsehoods, bigotry and rigid political party lines?

Have the multiple truths we seek become too grotesque in their starkness for any of us to accept? Have these universal truths grown too frightening for us to live with in our comfortable retirement lives? Have the truths grown too threatening to believe so that, in their stead, we substitute myths of all measure, along with folklore of the most ferocious kind and subscribe to unscientific and unproven doctrines combined with the awful distortions of our beloved American history? Have we in today’s chaos of wild and aberrant thought reverted to an alchemy of absurdities?

Sir—and I must ask this question, given the foregoing—has your evolutionary theory of mankind become distorted? Has our evolved species bifurcated into separate evolutionary branches—one retreating to our ancestors in trees who care not a twit about the truths of the world and, the other focused on bridging the chasm between today’s divided political parties?

Whence on your evolutionary tree sprout the “Young Earthers,” who, oblivious to scientific truths, espouse their six thousand year-old date for the birth of our planet? Whence descend the politicians who know only distortions about American history, or worse, advocate theories of economics repeated from mutant partisan groups? When and where and why, Sir, did the long road of human evolution fork into these two very different and opposing paths of mental evolution?

But wait! Of course, the species you have tracked down through the eons—ours—has the mental capacity and the freedom to believe anything it wants, to worship whatever or whomever it chooses, to promulgate such dogma as the earth is flat and the moon made of green cheese, and so on, and so forth. Yet, does not our human species—and is it now two divergent political “branches”? (like What’s the Matter with Kansas?)—also have the God-given capacity, indeed the spiritual mandate, to seek out truths? Indeed, does not our species have the obligation, as the epitome and culmination of your evolutionary story, to so do?

Alas, many of these other folks have attended college, are products of our American educational system, and have received one of more of its carload of degrees. But what gives with their lack of search for truths? Are they lured by the camaraderie of like-minded folks intent on joining the same political party? Has this particular political party demeaned the human equation to where human factors are subordinated to the golden chalice of corporate power? Has the search for truths been supplanted by efforts to control our national, state and local governments, with the support from well-funded special interest groups? Has the craving for wealth replaced the search for truths?

Could you, Sir, please drop by the Dollar Clubhouse for a scheduled appearance before an authorized Rossmoor group and give us an update on your theory of evolution? For we, like you, search for the truths around us and how they have come to evolve into what they are touted to be today, and we find ourselves alarmed by how misguided versions of social and scientific truths of the human potential may erroneously be shaping the world around us.

Jon Foyt, a Rossmoor novelist, can be contacted at: jonfoyt@mac.com

To research “Young Earthers,” who do not per se have a website, readers are advised to Google the subject and then click accordingly.

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Y’all Come Together Now, Y’Hear!

July 15, 2011

A clarion call for the Political Right and the Progressives to come together to forge an American consensus for the nation’s future.

Y’all Come Together Now, Y’hear!

by Jon Foyt

Here’s some common sense advice for a nation deeply divided about its basic values, its future and its continued well being as a democracy: Hey, Dear Leaders all, y’all come together and craft viable plans for the nation so that we all can meet the future head-on and prevail.
Consider this exemplary event: back in 1808 in Upstate New York in a community near what today is the city of Syracuse but was then only a dark and dismal swamp, two men and the voters who elected them influenced dramatically the course of our nascent Republic’s development.
As background for this little historic scenario, y’all recall that in the early years of our nascent Republic two opposing governing and political philosophies were continually debated amongst the male property owners of the thirteen states. The Federalist had one philosophy and the Jeffersonian Republicans quite an opposite view. The arguments between these parties grew vitriolic, as well as being elegantly debated by orators of the day.
Loosely categorized, the Federalist point of view sprung from the dominant European tradition that those in charge of society, namely the kings, the nobles and the lords of the manor were somehow chosen by a Higher Authority to own the land and to run society. The opposite point if view prevailed, otherwise we might have had King George Washington and a court of noblemen instead of President George Washington and a popularly elected (albeit in those days limited to male land owners) body of the people.
Now back to our 1808 true story for your consideration: Joshua Forman, an avid Federalist, and John McWhorter, an equally avid Jeffersonian Republican, campaigned for the New York Legislature on a combined “Canal Ticket.’ Elected, they carried out their mandate and together wrote the speech that Joshua gave before that Legislature later that year, following which the body appropriated the first monies for the survey of what was to become in 1825 America’s First Super Highway, the Erie Canal, which opened up the then Northwest to cheap transportation and trade and kept the British confined to the wilds of Ontario.
During the ensuing years following Joshua’s speech, the nation entered into a brief phase devoid of political parties as we know them today, a sort of common unity of purpose for the expanding nation, an era during which the nation put aside philosophical differences about how to govern this new land and this fledgling country and turned its attention, politically and economically, toward the West and toward forging the beginnings of what today has become a great nation.
You may observe that 200 years ago was a much different, and perhaps simpler time, and of course you would be right. But looking back, these two Americans did what was needed to be done in their era. Jump ahead 200 years from today and look back and ask: did Americans of 2011 and 2012 do what was needed in what today is “our era?”
So, fellow Americans, how about the suggestion that we in Rossmoor, as matriarchs and patriarchs of this nation, have a mandate to come together as did Joshua Forman and John McWhorter, back in 1808, to look forward toward the future and not to join with much of the popular media and the down and dirty political debate that wallows in the weeds of a dark and dismal swamp of aberrant and caustic name calling, racial slurs, birth certificate challenges and religious attacks aimed directly at the President of the United States of America, accompanied by wanton character bashing. Such aspersions, as delivered to us daily only widen and deepen what has become a non-productive national chasm, its dismal depths clung to by a far right warped ideology that eschews the truth and an opposite and stubborn decades old political dress that needs a new and brilliant bow, or at least the addition of something cobalt blue and brilliant.
Couldn’t this year of 2011 be the appropriate time for us all to rise above the mundane media muck that we’re hit with daily and come together in common purpose as all of us did on the Fourth of July celebration in the beautiful Dollar gardens and reach out together to claim the brightness that our future surely offers?

Jon Foyt is co-author of The Landscape of Time, a novel about the creation of the Erie Canal. His email address is: jonfoyt@mac.com