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Rod Serling, in many ways, seemed like a prophet. The Twilight Zone was able to hit on so many ideas, often using metaphoric allusions to what should be the obvious.

One of his best is The Monsters are Due on Maple Street. Some of us, here, and in the country, remind me of those who dwelled on Maple Street.

I will explain.

Picture a quiet, suburban, tree-lined street of modest, but beautiful homes. There is a car in every driveway, and neighbors actually speak to each other.

Enter suspicion. Aliens are rumored to be living among the very people of Maple Street. Strange things begin to happen. Someone's car starts without them starting it. An insomniac star gazer becomes the focus of people. Is he the one? Or is it the person whose car starts and stops? The electricity goes out. People panic. Rumors spread. A mob forms. They accuse a child of being the alien. Guns appear.

At the finale of the episode, the camera pulls away and the viewer is left with the people of Maple St. fighting, screaming. The camera pulls further away and the viewer actually sees the "aliens" who climb into their spacecraft for the ride home. As they climb, one alien speaks to the other. He says something like: This is how easy it is to destroy them. First, plant suspicion. Then the rest will fall in line, and they will destroy themselves, one by one, one by one.

Serling's monologue at the end speaks of the many ways to destroy people. It will not happen with guns and bombs, but with words.

In a sense we, in America, have become the dwellers of Maple St. We speak before we think. We accuse without evidence. We opine without discretion. We believe whatever the media tends to spew.

Why many of us and in the media are already pontificating negatively about the President's freeze policy. He hasn't given his speech yet, but many have already decided. We lay down the words and suspicion follows.

The President's opponents have done this well. He is not really one of us. He is not a real American. He wasn't born here. He doesn't belong. The words were spoken; the suspicion has given a path for those who wish the President ill.

And furthermore, those who should support him, are also following the very same path the opposition follows. We do not have to agree with any, all, or some of the President's policies, but we owe it to ourselves and to him to think, research, know, before we speak. For along with the opposition, we are also hurting this President's reputation.

One of the problems I think Barack Obama has is this. He is a pragmatist, a realist. He is also a thoughtful man. He encounters a problem not from a left or right point of view;nor from a conservative or liberal point of view; or for that matter a Republican or Democratic point of view. He looks at a problem and questions himself on what will be best for the American people. Hence, his policies are doomed to make either end of the political spectrum happy.

I write this because so many have already made up their minds to condemn the so-called freeze without understanding its ramifications for the U. S. NPR aired a segment explaining that because of China's change of policies with their banks, those who need to borrow money will not be too successful unless the Chinese feel that deficits are being addressed. The economist went on to explain that the President had already told the government departments, soon after inauguration, that they needed to cut spending or freeze spending on wasteful or irrelevant policies.

Therefore, there are obvious world wide reasons why the President is choosing to speak to the deficts in this country. It is not just for politics, but he is thinking of our long term efforts to get this country's economy moving; and that may involve borrowing more money from China at some point.

Before we destroy a man who has the best intentions for us, let's think first. Criticism is acceptable when written coherently and constructively.

Let's give this man a chance before we inadvertently throw him out in 2012. We need to stop being the inhabitants of Maple St.

Originally posted to yorkiedoglover on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 07:17 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Great Allegory! (9+ / 0-)

    When I first started teaching, the screenplay was in the basal Reader (7th Grade) it is shown in reruns on the SciFi channel and few children have heard of these stories...(kinda like the modern Guy De Maupassant or Saki except they are not so madern anymore) and I was surprised that my friend's teenaged son had never seen or heard of it/them(he is 17 and was enthralled by the Twilight Zone marathon on New Years Day) should still be required reading in schools and should be considered a classic... I loved watching the Twilight Zone when I was a kid and some of those stories are classics. It is hard to believe that I am that old and those were that long ago!

  •  I saw that marathon and thought about (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nina, cn4st4datrees

    what was going on here at dkos, but it is a timeless and important lesson. Divide and conquer has been used far too often on the american people and we need to wake up to the scam. I didn't think of the china angle, interesting. i wll think about it. t&r'd anyway.

    "Looks like we got ourselves a Reader" - Bill Hicks

    by blueoregon on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 08:08:17 AM PST

  •  I beg to differ (0+ / 0-)

    The current criticisms of Obama by progressives do not reflect the left turning on its own. They reflect a legitimate disappointment with the priorities as well as the strategies of this admin. At the rate we're going, we'll be in Sarah Palin Land in 2012. Then youll find out who the real Monsters are on Maple St. Perhaps a better analogy for the new Amurkan Super-Max Security State we'll face is THE OBSOLETE MAN>

  •  I've been thinking the exact same (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Serling analogy.

    Good diary. Tipped and recc'd.

    SCOTUS: You have now revealed the face of the true enemy. You and they are about to reap the whirlwind.

    by Fe Bongolan on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 09:00:05 AM PST

  •  J.R.R. Tolkien saw it too: (0+ / 0-)

    In the Lord of the Rings, just after Frodo is captured by Orcs in the pass of Cirith Ungol, Samwise Gamgee (Frodo's servant and faithful companion) determines to rescue Frodo against overwhelming odds.

    Meanwhile, the Orcs, of two different companies, begin bickering, then fighting each other, then manage to wipe each other out.  Suddenly Sam has no opposition to speak of.  Frodo and Sam escape.

    Much later, just after narrowly avoiding capture yet again due to a couple of Orcs fighting each other, Sam wryly remarks "Well, I call that neat as neat.  If this nice friendliness would spread about in Mordor, half our trouble would be over."

    Bingo.  As long as we're fighting amongst ourselves, we're doing the Rethuglican's work for them.

    The question is not what, but who you want to be. --F.R. Prince

    by cn4st4datrees on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 09:41:32 AM PST

  •  rod sterling (0+ / 0-)

    he was and is americas shakespear

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