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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/26/11

The Poisoned Chalice

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The Poisoned Chalice
The Poisoned Chalice
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Once upon a time, in the land of the free and the home of the brave, there came a great famine. Many families went hungry, many lost their homes, and even the rich put out the begging bowl.

Feed us, said the fat to the thin, for without us the land shall surely die. And the frightened people did feed the fat, even unto obesity, but no succor came to the starving.

Among the people were the strong and the weak. The strong placed their hopes upon hope, and they cling to that thread to this very day.

But the weak were wroth with anger. The wanted to destroy the Dark One whom they blamed for their misery.

The high priests of the Grand Old Party took pity on the people. "Your plight is not of your own doing," they said, "nor ours, nor the fat. It is the Dark Man who seeks to destroy you; he will raise your taxes and abort your firstborn, he is everything evil. The Dark One comes from a foreign land and he is not one of us."

"Oh, how do we rid ourselves of such a plague?" the people cried.

"You must curse him, fear him, and shake the stick of anger. But you are weak and cannot do it alone. You must find your messiah. You shall know him when you see him, for he will fill your ears with imprecations against the Dark One and all his minions. He or she will prepare for you a Poisoned Chalice of hatred and lies against which the Dark One has no defense. The taste of the potion is bitter as ashes, but it will be balm to your souls."

And so word spread throughout the realm. Whosoever shall spill the foulest falsehoods and filth into the ears of the frightened shall be acclaimed a messiah among them, and shall rule the land.

In the white fastness of the north there dwelt a beautiful princess. She had been acclaimed a great beauty since she was a child. She won accolades wherever she went, and, in the fullness of time, she claimed her Prince Charming and together they raised many children.

She taught them to fish the salmon and hunt the moose; she was beloved by all she met. The citizens of her vast northern state rose her up, even unto the highest place in the land, and she reigned fairly and all was well.

But one day she was lured from her icy throne and went south to the land of the elephants.

The wise councilors of the Grand Old Party told her she was to become queen of the realm, but not without great sacrifice.

Drink of this, my dear, they said, and they presented her the Poisoned Chalice, a brew of bile and birthers, spleens and socialists, rat entrails and racists. Drink deeply and you shall grow strong.

And the princess drank deeply from the Poisoned Chalice and verily it was true; the people cheered and her fame grew like moss on the tundra, covering the land.

But soon the poison lost its power and she had to drink more and more. Her opponents became her enemies, her face grew twisted with anger; she could no longer speak, only ridicule.

And it came to pass that the poison made her ugly in the sight of the people, so that they could not stand to look upon her, and they cast her out.

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San Francisco based columnist, author, gym rat and novelist. My book, "The Confessions of a Catnip Junkie" is the best memoir ever written by a cat. Available on, or wherever fine literature is sold with no sales tax collected. For (more...)
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