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ELIOT/ A lighted way for men and politicians

RIRO MANISCALCO comments on the way politicians campaign and present themselves and the theme of infallibility, using the words of T.S. Eliot in his Choruses from the Rock.

Romney and Obama in Debate 2  (Infophoto) Romney and Obama in Debate 2 (Infophoto)

Usury, lust and power”. T.S. Eliot was not joking. If we look only at ourselves, these three idols are what dictate the path our lives, or at least, dictate where we would like our lives to take us.     

Last night, while watching the second presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and this morning, while reading stories of Italian politics, I was reminded of Eliot and his Choruses from the Rock. Yes, those three beasts, made-up and attractive, are like a shadow that follows each of our deeds, thoughts, and actions, our every effort, even the most noble. Why, St. Paul asked, do we end up doing evil even when we wish to do good?         

Are we aware of this? Are we aware of our limitations and of the fact that we are called, in all fields of life, to live the impossible, to live and do what we are not able to do? That is what gnawed at me last night as I listened to the pretenders to the throne of what is known as the greatest country in the world.      

I understand that they must show their ability of leadership, I understand that they need to show that resolve, that determination that the hard times we live in call for us to exhibit. Especially when things are going badly, the need to put our hope in something, in someone, becomes dramatic and urgent, unless we surrender to skepticism, and cynically renounce taking our heart seriously, our heart that, perhaps in the secret depths of ourselves, never stops shouting: “I am made for happiness”.         

I also understand that in a challenge to the death, in a challenge in which absolute power seems to be up for grabs, another’s weakness is my strength, and another’s mistakes are my land of conquest. The words... the words are flaming arrows hurled straight into the marrow of our instinct to force us to choose sides quickly and without reasons besides those that are emotive. Like a song made ??for immediate pleasure that does not touch the depths of our being. We saw it last night, and we read in the political news. We live it every day on our skin, and we make it live in all those with whom we interact.