Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What I distrust

I haven't been writing. Because I don't think? Because I'm private? But who is reading this? So I'll proceed and see if I can write.

I just saw a clip of Ronald Reagan and his famous "tear down that wall." I suppose I've come to believe that Ronald Reagan was a good man. And listening to an abridged version (I hesitate to admit) of his biography, I'm also willing to think that he was more accomplished than I gave him credit for. Particularly in being able to articulate his own vision.

But I still can't respond to someone like Ronald Reagan. Even if in the end it turned out better than I might have thought. And certainly, given what I distrust, things have gotten more troubling, not less. (Now I'm thinking about George Bush.) So what do I distrust. A person who trusts an idea, a belief, without submitting that idea, that belief, even a "gut feeling" if that's what it is, to inquiry, thought, investigation, skepticism. I just can't trust belief. And it's not that I trust reason or thought either. But human animals do have the ability to reason. The ability to discover a view of where we are standing, a sense that it's one of many places we might stand. That's what the ability to reason can help to glimpse. Another way things might be. A sense of this place, this context, a horizon. And a horizon, a view, that might just be different. That is what I value. What I try to find. Another way to think about this. Then I have a way of choosing, valuing, my view. Otherwise it's blind. So what I continue to question, to distrust is the true belief, the only belief, the obvious, the one true way. One.

And one that has an easy enemy, an easy other. My husband always tells me this leaves me in a murky, muddled place. But I have worked very hard to get to this murky, muddled place. And I value those things I can still value so much more, living in this place. So I continue to distrust the Ronald Reagans of the world. True believers. Even if kind and benign. I can sometimes admire. I can wish. But I just can't trust. I can't trust trust.

No comments: