Sunday, November 16, 2008

Giving the scorpion a ride

There's a fable involving a turtle, a scorpion and a rising flood. A scorpion sits nervously at the shore as the raging river rises. He sees his demise, and the highlights of his scorpion life begin to flash before his eyes. Then, he spots a turtle out of the corner of his eye. Approaching the turtle, he pleads for transportation across the water. The turtle, with a healthy amount of suspicion, demurs, stating the obvious - the scorpion will sting him. The scorpion, tucking his stinger behind him, says, "Oh no, I would never sting you if you gave me a ride." The hard-shelled one remains suspicious, but endless coaxing by the scorpion finally hits the mark and the turtle caves in. Arriving on the other side of the river, the scorpion dismounts and, on his way off, stings the turtle, injecting his poison. The turtle yelps, "Why did you sting me? You promised you wouldn't." The scorpion replies, "You knew I was a scorpion when you gave me a ride."
OK children, the moral of this story is timeless. Beware helping those who are innately dedicated to hurting you. With the flood waters of the election still at the crest, I have heard a troubling meme the last few days. Arianna Hufington, speaking on The Rachel Maddow Show, said she believes in the two party system and we need the Republicans to survive. Frank Rich in today's New York Times spouts the same nonsense. In this time of trouble, he pines, we need a healthy second party.
All this may be so. My personal favorite future involves a four party system. That's just me. But we do need a two party system. However, that does not necessarily mean the second party is the Republican Party as constituted today. We've had other major parties come and go - Democratic - Republicans, Whigs, Know-Nothings. Who knows what will arise from the ashes of the present day GOP, but the idea that we all need to chip in and help them off their feet is insane.
Beware the scorpion.

1 comment:

brain salad surgery said...

Remember that the scorpion is nocturnal - therefore, it operates in the dark much like the Republican party today. Additionaly, the stinger of the scorpion is hollow - just like the neoconservative promises of the last 8 years.

So...we must go for the kill in a dark, murky environment. Scorpions hide under crevices and are ambush predators. Our strength? We know that the sting is rarely fatal. When one of us takes on the poison, the others must go in for the kill.

Count me in.