Metaphorically Robert Frost doesn’t normally step into the battering realm of politics. Accordingly, few people ever try equating him to circumstances devolving in Congress. But, allusions creep quietly into a writer’s mind as his deadline stealthily glides into range to strike like a viper with an attitude.
At the corner of Business As Usual Drive and Integrity Boulevard, Congress behaved strangely and chose a road less traveled.
“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, I long stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth.” Congress has been mindful for so long that procedure and deference to traditional posturing based on seniority in office, take precedence over what’s right. Now, political novices challenge courtesies formerly etched in stone by standing on their integrity rather than gliding on the coattails of their elders.
Legislative direction was dictated by the elder to the novice since 1789. Seniority suggested wisdom for so long nobody questioned the righteousness of any action. Now, it’s proven wisdom was replaced by entrenchment in a particular ideology.
“Then took the other, as just as fair, and having perhaps the better claim, because it was grassy and wanted wear; though as for that the passing there had worn them really about the same” Integrity was pushed aside by expedience; the expedience allowing more and more personal power and wealth to eclipse the needs of the people represented. Political “give and take” became more a matter of battle, wrangle and capitulate. The servant became the served. Congressional action is perceived as an arcane and profane exercise in political exploitation for personal gain.
“And both that morning equally lay in leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads to way, I doubted if I should ever be back.” In this effort, newly minted Congressmen challenge their hierarchy to do what is viewed as right by their constituents. It’s a statement of independence of conscience and moral standard. It hopefully points to a time from here into eternity where we: “doubted if I should ever be back” to the desert of congressional moral decay.
This journey along a road less traveled is being walked by the new congressional representatives seeking a better game plan for the folks they represent. No longer do these representatives accept the standard commands without question. With simple obeisance freely given, blinded by their position but negligent in the performance of the true duty; these “elder statesmen suffered no fear of challenge by their younger generation. Today the once complacent elders now stand in shock. They aren’t being blindly followed as they learned to follow blindly those coming before them. It’s a road never before traveled to this extent.
Where the road MOST traveled led us to this point of political dissolution and decay; there are new boots on the ground marching the country on that road less traveled until this moment. These young men and women test the patience of the elders like bright children questioning everything. The want answers to questions long ago proclaimed axiomatic. The young challenge the axioms with thundering, simple, innocent questions like: “why this and why not that?
“I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” We’re in awe of this evident change and stubborn protest. It’s so atypical of business as usual. This is a new time where faith and trust and courage and integrity are recognized. These are being forced into the edited dialogue of this guidebook suggesting the direction of travel our nation will follow. There’s no expectation of the easy road most often traveled before this, merely the expectation that the weight of governmental steerage is lessened for each of us as we share the load and the responsibility for directing our own destinies.
As conscience and integrity guide us, injustice falls beneath the leaves trodden black by the past.
Thanks for listening.