On Wicked Problems
I intend to post poems at regular intervals. As my readers become familiar with my politics, the poems I choose to post might seem incongruous to some. How can I, a hawkish pro-capitalist Christian, admire most often in poets people who are gays, socialists, cult figures, and so forth. Don't I know who these people are? Don't I know the things that they stood for. Couldn't I choose someone whose beliefs are more like my own?
I could. I probably won't. Not often at least. You see, I think that it is a good thing to be challenged. I think it is also important to be able to sift the wheat from the chaff. I am pro-capitalist for what I think are good and for me sufficient reasons. But that doesn't mean that I can't feel empathy for those who are trod under the uncaring boot of profit, nor that I don't admire someone like say Carl Sandburg for what he saw and tried to stand for.
I consider myself a Hawk, but I could not and would not want to live a life untroubled by the concept of war. I consider myself a capitalist, but I could not and would not want to abandon socialism entirely. These are wicked problems, and they have no easy answers. Yes, of course I'm troubled - grieved even - by every single lost life. But these are wicked problems, and for every course of action their is a high price to pay.
I think that the easy and obvious thing is to be troubled by war. It is easy, especially in our Christian and post-Christian society, to take a principled stand against violence. I'm a Hawk because as troubled as I am by war, there are times when I'm even more troubled by peace. I wonder how often the Dove is troubled by an unjust peace. It's easy for the Hawk to be troubled by war. It is hard to deal with the dead of war. But I wonder whether the Dove gives as much thought to freedom he gives to evil doers by refraining from bearing the sword. The dead of peace go unmourned and unremembered more often than the dead of war. Who will grieve for them; nay, who will do more than grieve? Tears are easy. Do the Doves question whether they refrain out of love or out of simple apathy and fear?
Very well, you will have your grief, and I will have mine.