Doctor Faustus running for office

As the election campaigning continues, the fund raising becomes more intense and the number of dollars raised and the money spent to elect the next president reach unimaginable levels, I cannot escape the metaphor of Doctor Faustus.  Is not anyone running for a major political office not forced into a deal with the devil?  How can any candidate avoid it?  To compete a candidate has to have at least as much money as his/her opponent.  Particularly when the campaign turns negative, as they all do in time, one has to have the money to say bad, bad things about one’s opponent.  With or without a political action committee, every candidate has to have buckets of money and a willingness to fight dirty.  Just where in that process is there room for a person with integrity?  Doctor Faustus made his deal for 24 years of sensual gratification, anything his heart, or any other part of his body, wanted was to be his.  After 24 years, he would surrender his soul to the prince of darkness and sink into a pit of never-ending misery.   As he neared the fateful hour, Faustus had second thoughts, as all old men do, but it was too late.  It was especially too late for all those who suffered from his greed and his lust; and that is my concern.   I am sure that most politicians will one day regret some of their follies.  Going to meet their maker they will turn to the truth faith and renounce the evil of their past.  But every time they do damage to our system, our freedoms that remains.  No amount of apologizing and asking for god’s forgiveness will give us back what they took when they sold their souls to be elected.

This is the second time I have written about this and not the last; it is a theme that interests me a great deal.  In someway don’t we all sell something of our soul for success?  I know I have, over the course of my life I have made lots of decisions that would lead to a promotion or a raise that might have been made differently.  I might have chosen to spend more time at home with Maria and Johnny, but instead I choose to spend more time at work, or worse running which brought be little fame and no money.  I can and probably will repent as I get closer to the final hour, but I can never give back to Maria or Johnny the time I stole from them to give to something else.   I had never thought about the subject seriously until I was doing Mead Dixon’s oral history; Mead had certainly sold his soul for fame and fortune.  Not that I think he did anything immoral or illegal, simply he always choose career over family, over leisure, over who knows, maybe art, literature or a life like Mother Teresa.  That is really my only point, whenever we put our best efforts into one thing, we cheat something else. It is the nature of human life, we only have so much time and so much energy.   There is a bit of Faustus in us all.


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February 2012
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