Political Crayolas

Photo by laffy4k on Flickr

Once upon a time there was a box of crayons, one for every color of the rainbow.  Green was widely known as the middle of the spectral set, with Red, Orange, and Yellow to one side and Blue, Indigo, and Violet to the other.  People recognized the value of the diversity of colors and accepted that to behold the world in all its glory all the colors played a role.  Sure, people had their favorites.  Some loved the bold hues of the reds, others the compassion of the blues, while many gravitated to the natural greens of the center.  There was balance and harmony.

But one day things began to change.  The Reds began by chiding the Greens, and eventually the Yellows as well, for not being Red enough.  Some, compelled by the pressure, began to change their hue.  They shifted red over time and melded with the Red crayon causing it to grow.  But this left a spectral void.  So the Greens and Blues began to divide and shift their own hues until eventually, the group that used to span from Violet to Blue- Green, now encompassed all the Green and the Yellow as well.  Each crayon was smaller, but the void was comfortably filled such that the world could retain its full color.

The Reds, still confident they represented half the spectrum, even if only by weight, decided the new middle must be somewhere in the neighborhood of light Orange.  This made even a nice shade of Aqua seem distant and radical.

Before long, the Reds became so emboldened by their uniformity and enormity they started advocating that the world exist only in shades of Red.  Their followers, even those whose world depended on tints of all types, began to paint only in Reds and eschew other colors as evil.  They mocked the other colors for failing to agree on a single shade.  They relished their monochromatic view of the world.

For awhile, the Reds seemed an unstoppable force.  Their unity, their single mindedness, their size made them formidable.  Over time, the sun, the skies, the grasses, the seas all became Red.  But red suns burn cooler, and red chlorophyll doesn’t photosynthesize as well.  The world cooled and the air became foul.  The vibrant spectrum of life dwindled until eventually the world was, as the Reds had envisioned, a uniform color.  But not red.  Rather, an amalgam of all colors… lifeless brown.

And as you think about this parable, ask yourself, “Are your politicians playing with a full box of crayons?”

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