Tibetan religious tradition has it that when the Dalai Lama dies, the Buddha of Compassion leaves his body and incarnates in the body of a young child. The monks immediately go out in search of this blessed child, and when they find him – as they inevitably do – he is tested by a group of high lamas and enthroned as the reincarnation of his successor.
Imagine, however, if the lamas refused to recognize that the Dalai Lama was, in fact, dead. Suppose that instead of going in search of the Buddha’s new carnal home, they hooked the corpse up to a life support machine and waited patiently for the Holy One to awake and rise up. It’s not hard to see that they would be doomed to disappointment, and furthermore, would fail to find the next Dalai Lama as well.
This is precisely our dilemma today, for America, as envisioned by the Founding Fathers, is dead. By every measure, large and small, the original vision of limited government by, for and of the people has been folded, spindled and mutilated beyond recognition. When one reads the Constitution, one simply marvels at the distinct difference between its words and our present reality.
July 12, 2004
You can’t fix a corpse
[The question, of course, is where/how do we find “New America” or reincarnate the spirit of the original? Day advocates voting for Libertarian or Constitutional parties. While I have (mostly) been doing that for many years I’m not convinced it is very productive. I think voting is a measure of the current status of the culture. Hence, I’m inclined to believe the correct answer involves changing the culture rather than voting. The voting will correct itself once the culture has sufficiently changed.—Joe]