Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Nader: Saruman or Denethor?  

So Billmon took on Nader the other day. He is, I think it's safe to say, seriously pissed:

My guess is that in the end Nader's reasons for treachery aren't all that much different from Benedict Arnold's - it's the vanity and resentment of a hero who's seen the laurels of respect and influence he thinks are his due go to lesser mortals instead. Combine that with the towering rage of a prophet ignored, and it's the perfect combination for betrayal.

But there are times when treason can be as blind as love or justice, and this may be one of them. I'm sure Ralph still believes he's one of the good guys - maybe the last good guy. I can imagine him measuring the handle on his moral spoon and finding it more than long enough to sup with the devil. But that's just one of the acrobatic manuevers an agile mind uses to rationalize evil. It may be there's a part of Ralph's brain that understands what's happening, and is helplessly aghast at what the dominant part of his brain is doing. Or maybe not. Maybe there's nothing left but that angry, ravenous ego, obsessed with its revenge.

In the end it doesn't matter. Ralph's motives are immaterial now. The point is that he has joined (to borrow Saruman's phrasing) with the enemy. And so has become the enemy.
Billmon is such a damn good writer that I become bitter and in this fit of envy try to improve upon his work. So he invokes Saruman, eh? I think the Tolkien character Nader most resembles these days is Denethor, Steward of Gondor:
"What then would you have," said Gandalf, "if your will could have its way?"

"I would have things as they were in all the days of my life," answered Denethor, "and in the days of my longfathers before me...But if doom denies this to me, then I will have naught: neither life diminished, nor love halved, nor honor abated."
So who is it, readers? Saruman or Denethor? Benedict Arnold or just Arnold the Pig? Billmon doesn't do comments any more, but we do. Lay on, McDuffs, and curs'd be he who first cries, "Hold! Enough!"

corrente SBL - New Location
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The Washington Chestnut
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