Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving, Mr. President-Elect. Here's my plan.

Thursday, November 24, 2016
I hope we all have some time to rest today, on Thanksgiving. Time to reflect, even learn. So save this one for later, when you have a chance. It'll put you right to sleep. Or not. It's a lesson from Sanskrit, never all that easy because all things excellent are as difficult as they are rare. 
धृतराष्ट्र उवाच ।
धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे समवेता युयुत्सवः ।
मामकाः पाण्डवाश्चैव किमकुर्वत सञ्जय ॥ १-१॥
In the opening salvo of the Bhagavadgita, the blind king Dhrtarāshtra spoke knowing too well that his own army and that of the Pandava were "itching for a fight." There is no turning back because their hearts are set upon their differences. Their differences are real and the calumny warrants the sentiment. To express that sentiment the Sanskrit word in the text is "yuyutsavas." It means "desiring to do battle," "belligerent for a fight," we might say, "battle hungry." This is masculine nominative plural of the rare desiderative form used here as an adjective. Got that? In the complex algorithms of Sanskrit grammar it takes 16 rules from Panini's magnificent Ashthādhāyī, the complaisantly titled "Eight Chapters" to create just this one form --- all rules assiduously applied in just the right ways, and just for this one word. I will spare you the math. You can trust me on this. I've got your back, but today it's about far more than arcane grammar. Today this one word means something even more to me. Because I'm not giving in. I'm going to be yuyutsavah for as long as it takes to wage this battle. I will never be less battle hungry for what awaits us. It is my heart's Thanksgiving Day wish. Hear me, Mr President-elect, there will be no reconciliation, no peace made with the likes of you.

Charles Blow of The NYTimes expresses my sensibilities perfectly. He writes about President-elect Trump, "I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything, but rather to speak up for truth and honor and inclusion. This isn’t just about you, but also about the moral compass of those who see you for who and what you are, and know the darkness you herald is only held at bay by the lights of truth...I’m thankful that I have the endurance and can assume a posture that will never allow what you represent to ever be seen as everyday and ordinary.
...No, Mr. Trump, we will not all just get along. For as long as a threat to the state is the head of state, all citizens of good faith and national fidelity — and certainly this columnist — have an absolute obligation to meet you and your agenda with resistance at every turn.
I know this in my bones, and for that I am thankful."
I am thankful for the will and the resolution to never give in to you, Mr Trump.  You will find me your nemesis for as long as you serve, and in my every breath forward.

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