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Paul Elisha: Wreckless Youth Makes Rueful Age

In one of his most compelling utterances, Oscar Wilde quipped: “Experience is the name everyone gives to their youthful Mistakes.”  If ever this nation was in need of helpful advice from practiced elderly statespersons, now is that time.  Trouble is, most of those available to give it have morphed into politically posthumous prime and are only allowed into the limelight to add cache` at ceremonial events or – as younger miscreants, who committed irreparable political havoc, are now frenziedly refurbishing history, to justify their prior misconduct as ‘necessary evil.’  For such unseemly projects, they form tandem arrangements with ghost-writers, eager to glean money and merit from the commercial media, which has scant scruple about manipulating inexpert voter opinion.  The endgame effect of such shenanigans is a travesty in trust for those who need it most--- the voters whose voices are the most persuasive vehicles for change, when public policy hunts vital options between peace and war; economic vigor and regressive recession.

There are elders, of good conscience and genuine experience, forged in past predicaments that toughened their persistence and firmness of purpose, in behalf of their fellow citizens.  They could and should be called upon now, to help separate the ethical wheat of necessity from the churlish chaff of political pollution, that has turned too many of those we chose to speak and act for our best interests into shoddy opportunists or stubborn, selfish, insubordinates.

In either case, they portend painful consequences for our national future, if not now forced by public pressure to desist or depart, by a legion of astute elders who – like Ben Franklin – learned through hardship, that:  “…Reckless youth makes for rueful age.”

The views expressed by WAMC’s commentators are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of WAMC or its management.

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