I was driving along the Rideau river today and looking at the beauty of the changing foliage as it notifies us of the gradual shift in the season. I was elated by the warmth of the sun and the easy feeling that autumn is always so willing to offer up. I saw a Crane rise slowly out of the water against the soft blue background of the sky and disappear across the river to some unknown destination. I thought of the sweet innocence of my daughter’s face this morning as she jumped on the school and the smile that tickled her lips as she looked back at me over her shoulder. I considered the remarkable poetry of Coleridge that I have read lately and the depth of feeling that is available to us through the historical voice of our greatest poetic voices.
Then, from the corner of my cheerful eye, I caught sight of a Conservative election sign and I was overcome by a wave of nausea as I was brought back to the ground from my lofty heights. And I was forced to recall the terrible events of the last few weeks, and indeed over the last two and a half years as the Conservatives have slowly chipped away at the potential beauty of life. I thought about how almost every controversy or gaff in which the conservatives have been involved has demonstrated their fundamental meanness and dark and twisted way in which they look at society and the world. Think of it; while other parties have lost candidates to foolish mistakes like smoking to much marijuana, the Conservatives have been constantly caught making mean-spirited, cruel, and malicious comments about their opponents or some vulnerable group in society. The real tragedy of human life is not that events occur that cause human pain and hardship. Rather, the tragedy is that it has become acceptable, nay, even fashionable, to not only ignore these hardships but to cruelly persecute those who have suffered from misfortune. It is regrettable that the mean-spirited ideology of the Conservative party is being enshrined in our very system.
Despite the efforts of the great poets, despite the odes of Horace and the sonnets of Shakespeare, despite the most sensitive humanity of so many lovers and artists, caretakers of the human spirit, even with all these efforts, still the ruthless goons of pettiness and meanness can twist the fortitude of our endeavors into the basest coarseness of commerce and utility until there is nothing left of the beauty of life’s potential.