On War and Politics
As a good officer’s wife, I should keep my mouth shut. Did you realize that for as little as my tongue weighs, it is awfully hard to hold back. So, very, very hard. It might disappoint some to hear, but I am a conservative. I find my leanings to fall even further to right the older I get. I think that’s true of most people. The older you get the more you lean one way or another. Standing in the middle with one foot on each side seems less and less important. I just can’t stretch that far. Maybe it’s having children and the constant worry over the future instead of the fact that I’m at age that I thought was quite ancient when I was fifteen.
Any who… I found another problem with living in Hawaii. This time difference is killing me for news. As I went to bed last night, I was hearing talk about Yemen. I woke up this morning immediately running to the computer to see what was happening. The computer is officially my window to the world. I don’t like it. The fact that a certain boy has learned to say, “You want to change the channel,” every time he hears the TV come on doesn’t help either.
So with world events front and center in my mind… I’m getting so much exercise holding my tongue. Must. Try. Harder. Anyway… I had this thought this morning. How different would the world be if mothers were the world leaders. How many skirmishes do I settle between my kids and my kids and other kids in a day? I have to say, I would be quick to impose sanctions on countries who don’t play nice. I am also the mother who gives my children the what for if I witness them lacking compassion. There is fine line in diplomacy. Don’t mothers walk that fine line every day? Just a thought.
The other thing I want to write down, just for my own amusement is something that Otto Von Bismark once said. Don’t know how Otto Von Bismark was? Thank you for Mr. Baker for my world history class. I think I was a senior in high school when he introduced me to Otto Von Bismark and the Third Reich. Bismark was an ultimate statesman. For thirty years he helped promote peace through Europe and unified Germany. Say what you want about his conservative slant and ideas, he was the statesman statesman. What I loved most about Bismark is that the things he said about foreign policy and politics still resonate today. Of course, coming from Kentucky, he had me at “To retain respect for sausages and laws, one must not watch them in the making.”
He talked about diplomacy as being important, but the sweetest things a diplomat says mean nothing without the force of a threat behind them. I have to say as a mother, I agree. It doesn’t matter how nicely I ask my children to clean their room, do their homework, finish their chores or even play nicely rather than violently, if they don’t know I’m capable of disciplining them it doesn’t matter how nicely I ask.
Some other of my favorite Bismark quotes that we might want to remember today…
“When you say you agree to a thing in principle you mean that you have not the slightest intention of carrying it out in practice.”
“A statesman… must wait until he hears the steps of God sounding through events, then leap up and grasp the hem of His garment.”
“A government must not waiver once it has chosen it’s course. It must not look to the left or right but go forward.”
“Be polite; write diplomatically; even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness.”
“The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood.”
“Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war.”
And the other of my favorites…
“People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election.”
I could probably find many more. I think my next dog might be named Otto. Apparently I’m not the only one who has a hard time holding my tongue.
So this post is all over the place…sort of like my mind these days. Is anyone else glued to what’s happening everywhere else or I is it that island life just has me feeling so far removed?