Jan 19, 2010

Fifty-eight percent.... What is it about this percentage lately? What's behind such a coincidence?

58 percent of those polled oppose Obamacare (a new high).

58 percent of US voters want to waterboard failed Christmas bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

58 percent of GOP voters aren't sure if Barack Obama was born in the United States.

58 percent of Americans believe climate change is a "minor threat" or no threat at all.

58 percent of voters polled oppose further investigation of U.S. torture allegations.

58 percent of Republicans answered 'no' when asked if they believe their state should secede from the Union. (And so 42 percent believe their state should secede?)

58 pecent of Republican respondents in Minnesota said they were proud of Michelle Bachmann.

And then...

58 percent of those polled by CNN will not donate money toward the Haitian... what would you call it? Cataclysm. 'Disaster' is too light a word.

According to Wikipedia, although no source is provided, the mythological significance of 58 is that it was "commonly associated with misfortune in many civilizations native to either Central America or Southern America. Due to their beliefs in the original 58 sins, the number came to symbolize curses and ill-luck. Aztec oracles supposedly stumbled across the number an unnaturally high number of times before disaster fell. One famous recording of this, though largely discredited as mere folktale, concerned the oracle of Moctezuma II, who allegedly counted 58 pieces of gold scattered before a sacrificial pit the day prior to the arrival of Hernan Cort├ęs."

Fifty-eight is also the minimum wind speed (mph) needed to issue a Severe Thunderstorm Warning.

And then there is Isiah 58, which by one translation begins....

"Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
and to the house of Jacob their sins.

A song based on Isiah 58 uses this question as the refrain, "Am I worshipping God, only for me?"



Isiah 58 offers a fitting commentary on the poll results, and brings to mind H.L. Menchen's observation, "Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance."

If Scott Brown wins a ticket to the U.S. Senate today, it will not be a political debacle for Democrats, contrary to some predictions, but it will bring Democrats to their senses. Whatever effect it has, it will be an unnerving reflection of how this country has come to resemble Germany in the 1930s. Not in full scale, but as a hint, a miniature, a diorama, a moment, like a old smell you'd forgotten.

Imagine them as beer swilling, brown shirts: Limbaugh, Levin, Beck, O'Reilly, and that political cabaret star in Nazi cap, Ann Coulter. And so many others.

And now just this afternoon, on a tip that Brown will win or sufficiently undermine the healthcare bill, the stock market has gone up 116 points. The boys at the Bull 'n Bear are burping with joy that the healthcare company stocks won't take such a hit.

It's no longer a joke. It's that gravity effect of fear and hatred that most people in this country have never noticed, have never known. How could this happen, so easily, like gas coming in under the door.

No matter. However it happened, the thing is here.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fascinating. Thanks for the post. Good food for thought.

Anjuli said...

But as we each join together and DO something, it does not have to be this way. Statistics are well and good- but over the years we see how WE can change those statistics.

We need to get away from the fear and move towards the hope of each of us doing what we can do.

You correctly chose Isaiah 58- but although it starts off with a negative- In Isaiah 58 verses 6- 12 you will find the solution given. What God really wants- to share our bread, to undo the heavy yoke, to let the oppressed go free- to bring to our homes the poor- to take away the yoke-to extend our soul to the hungry- this is what the solution is- this will bring hope!!