A Man in the Middle

By Tony Moorby March 31, 2022

Occasionally I used to let off steam in this column to express exasperation, frustration and every so often, congratulation over politics and politicians. I’m less inclined to do so nowadays and not just for fear of offending sensitive opposing views. It’s me that’s pulled in every direction in these times. 

I was always a fairly committed conservative, favoring the philosophies of pulling your own boots on while allowing a civil and successful society to look after the less fortunate.

The older I get, the more I embrace the common good. Don’t misunderstand me – I’m no socialist nor will I be.

Pandemic has drawn political sides to extremes of beliefs to the point of becoming selfish beyond previous societal norms and behaviors. 

I lost my identical twin brother at the outset of the spread of the coronavirus and trust me there is no human relationship that is closer or more attached. I say this, not for sympathy but it set my stance over how I should deal with my social responsibilities and thus, put me at odds with many; friends, family, mere acquaintances and even strangers. 

Those actions of masking and being vaccinated and boosted seemed to put me in some pre-disposed political camp. Not so! I’m still a conservative but note the small ‘c’.

I’m no extremist so that puts me out of the Trump camp and I was never in the Biden camp, disproving that if you’re not in one, you must be in the other. I voted for neither – for the first time in my eligible life I didn’t vote at all. It’s an uncomfortable position and I’ll admit to a sense of bewilderment that no one in Congress represents or mirrors my man-in-the-street views anymore.

Perhaps the current invasion of the Ukraine might re-align folks’ senses of being American and getting back to that feeling of unison and (admittedly) old-fashioned values. Remember the first couple of months after 9/11 when people were actually nice and polite to one another? I acknowledge that many readers may be too young to recollect.

The Ukrainian conflict proves how small the world is as we watch the Russians flaunt every rule in the wartime playbook at the behest of a tyrannical maniac – Putin, who has lied through his miserable teeth to fool his people his actions are right. Now he’s like a sewer rat in a corner – nowhere to go and even more dangerous. Perhaps his demise will resemble that of the Czars, once his folly is more broadly discovered by his populace. The Russians have a history of revolution; maybe now’s a good time for another one.

At this writing, Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Churchillian, heroic efforts have shocked the world – from comedian to capitalist crusader in the face of war criminals who are blindly following orders (we’ve heard that before), probably in fear of their own lives on loan from a dictator.

Vladimir Putin has exacted revenge on oppositionists on his doorstep or around the world while bleeding his country dry as he siphons off billions for himself and his cronies. The average annual income for folks in central Russia is less than that of the poverty-stricken people of India. If you’re earning less than $800 a year, sanctions don’t mean a whit. Let’s hope the oligarchs feel the pinch and quickly.

Lord Acton’s quote about power corrupting and ultimate power corrupting ultimately ends in “most great men are bad men.” The only great thing about Putin is the breadth of his (awful) influence. His moral void disallows attention to humanitarian concerns. He sees his parallel in Stalin and Lenin. Too close for comfort. 



Last modified on Thursday, 31 March 2022 13:48