The cult of personality
Last night a strange form of epiphany, a sudden intuitive leap of understanding, especially through an ordinary but striking occurrence, occurred for a friend of mine. It was startling and brilliant and extremely special for me because the epiphany noted was concerning something I’d been saying for a long time.
Most politicians are liars. They’re self-serving. They’re without honor. They have a skewed sense of ethics and integrity. And, for the most part they’re duplicitous and constantly seeking approval and validation so as to shield themselves from scrutiny until they can “capture the flag” and win the seat of power they so desperately want. Toward this purpose they have appeared before groups representing their alleged same goals and objectives. In fact it’s no more than a play staged for their benefit and so they’ll polish their skills of miscommunication, deceit and the exhibition of guile so necessary for their survival in the political swamps they’ll inhabit.
Political endorsements are sought regularly. The endorsement is the grail sought to show they have the support needed to justify the Crusade. Their cups “spilleth over” when they gain an endorsement. The rhetoric they spout is carefully sculpted and crafted to satisfy the specific group they’ll approach. The pandering is at best insincere but is something some people in the target audience want because they seek a role of leadership in their own lives. They seek the reflected glow cast upon them by the risen sharing the knowledge of who declared them worthy of friendship.
As an example I’ll offer up a history of a man very much responsible for the history of the European immigrants to America in the 18th century. He was Thayendanegea, history also refers to him as Joseph Brant. He was a Mohawk sachem or head-man in his nation. He was also a great warrior respected by the rank and file people of his tribe.
Educated in British schools prior to the French and Indian War he was a staunch supporter of British interests. His knowledge and the subjects learned at Eleazar Wheelock’s “Moor’s Indian Charity School” in Connecticut, were classically crafted to present the English viewpoint and nothing else. Additionally, Brant’s resident tribe in the Iroquois Confederacy, of six) Indian tribes across upper New York state that during the 17th and 18th centuries played a strategic role in the struggle between the French and British for mastery of North America. The five Iroquois nations were the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. The Tuscarora joined in 1722.
As can be seen the Iroquois Confederacy was a powerful alliance of thousands of people. As allies they were potent, powerful and loyal to those Europeans they decided to band with at the time. Brant was an eloquent speaker and persuasive in his argument to his fellows. He swayed them with logic pertaining to trade and the value of the trade presented to his people. He described the trade goods of the French as inferior and as such not worthy of his people’s attention.
But this isn’t about Native American history. It’s offered as a cautionary tale as to how circumstances can change and affect people through the actions, and inactions, of people claiming to be friends sharing the same ideals.
Brant was a staunch supporter of the British and determined (along with his colleagues persuaded by Brant’s oratory) didn’t consider trade and alliance with the French. While this benefited the British in the French and Indian War it proved a detriment during the Revolutionary War. The colonists waged a savage war against the British and all of their Indian allies. The Iroquois Confederacy was eventually broken and dissolved in its strength and military power and Brant and his followers fled to Canada where he died eventually.
Because of the steadfast arguments against finding what the French had to offer as time evolved, the Iroquois Confederacy (and many other tribes associated loosely through trade and subservient relationships) fell prey to those new to an acquired power and lacking the responsibility to see the need to coexist.
The Mohawk and the Iroquois lost their lands because the British they endorsed failed to honor their treaties and lend support to the tribes. They were betrayed by circumstances and the fact the British, at that point, lost their control and abandoned them.
It’s the same thing now. The endorsed candidates win their seats, then they turn their backs on those who supported and championed them in favor of courting those who can progress their selfish desires; now and in the future.
Thanks for listening