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I don’t follow the political news too closely. Most of the time I find it depressing. While I was in Wisconsin, the Republican candidate Ms. O’Donnell went from being the darling of The Tea Party to a pariah when it was discovered in her youth she dabbled in witchcraft.  Mind! I don’t have all the facts, so if I am wrong; I admit so. I admit too I have a bit of empathy for her. People do things they later find embarrassing. This is where they should stand their ground and not be ashamed of what they did/who they were.  This is impossible to do in America. We demand purity; no one can be frail or have foibles.  Oscar Wilde said it best in one of his plays.  A politician is being threatened with blackmail for something he did in his youth –

“Remember to what a point your Puritanism in England has brought you. In old days nobody pretended to be a bit better than his neighbors. In fact, to be a bit better than one’s neighbors was considered excessively vulgar and middle-class. Nowadays, with our modern mania for morality, everyone has to pose as a paragon of purity, incorruptibility, and all the other seven deadly virtues – and what is the result? You all go over like ninepins – one after the other. Not a year passes in England without somebody disappearing. Scandals used to lend charm, or at least interest, to a man – now they crush him.”

I try hard not to be ashamed of who I was or am. Only acts of cruelty or uncaring are truly shameful to me. I have lots of foibles, ‘warts’, and Shadow parts. I claim them as my own and I don’t pretend I don’t have them. I do not claim to be ‘good’.

I could never run for office, but at least I am not a hypocrite.

Ms. Christie O. may try to poo-poo the witchcraft matter as just adolescent high spirits, but the nation won’t let her. It is sad she if she goes down it will not be because she is a wacko, or has awful ideas, or is a hypocrite. The Nation will reject her for investigating Paganism.  What a country.

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September 2010

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