published Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

A Cherokee parable: Which wolf will win?

By Mike Chambers

The Republican party, many say, is at a crossroads — pundits warn ground zero lies between the establishment Republicans and the tea party. The left salivates at the perceived fissure, hoping to divide conservatives.

This is but the magicians misdirection, hoping to brunt Democrats own sins laid bare in the state of the economy, unconstitutional executive orders, Obamacare, scandals within the NSA, IRS targeting of conservatives, Fast and Furious, the Benghazi cover up, and the list goes on and on.

But are we, as conservatives, really two wolves?

Consider the Cherokee parable, author unknown:

“An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life…

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

“One is evil — he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.

“The other is good — he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

“This same fight is going on inside you — and inside every other person, too.”

Most Americans are neither Republican or tea party — or Democrat for that matter. For the first time, most of us call ourselves independent — but polls show most Americans are certainly conservative, and right of center by at least a two-to-one ratio.

Let us judge both sides by the Cherokee standard of my mother.

Are we angry at those who simply tell the truth, or do we have joy in the discussion in the search for what is right? Do we envy the attention paid to the other side, wrapped in self-doubt and ego, or meet in peace and hope? Do we regret not choosing the better, and sometimes uncomfortable, path based on benevolence and compassion? Do we feed self-pity and guilt or nourish confidence in our positions? (I believe Mom would have added confidence to the parable). Do we feed arrogance toward opinions of fellow conservatives, or feel empathy and generosity? Do we have false pride in a label (Republican or tea party) or faith that Americans will, given the opportunity, chose the right path? Do we feel sorrow, inferiority or superiority, or kindness and support for one another in the search for light in the darkness?

As conservatives, do we feel greed or generosity for all Americans? And cannot we make the case, as brothers and sisters of the right, there is no self-doubt, but serenity in our pleas and hopes for the American future?

Do we not both preach good over evil?

It’s time for all conservatives to belly up to the campfire and feed an honest discussion on the issues that challenge us — the economy, jobs, indebtedness, national healthcare reform, immigration, national security, energy, loss of privacy, the cultural decline — I believe we agree far more than we disagree.

Upcoming decisions made in 2014 and 2016 in both primary and general voting booths will answer the Cherokee grandfather — and the answer will lay the groundwork for the future for our grandchildren:

“The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,

“Which wolf will win?”

The old chief simply replied,

“The one you feed.”

Be aware — the wolf on the left is already licking his chops.

Mike Chambers lives on Lookout Mountain.

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LibDem said...

"...but polls show most Americans are certainly conservative, and right of center by at least a two-to-one ratio."

Meaningless without definitions.

November 20, 2013 at 6:40 a.m.
librul said...

The whole diatribe is meaningless, but as such it finds its way onto the TFP editorial page out of their fondness for tradition.

November 20, 2013 at 8:46 a.m.
Plato said...

The statement that polls show most Americans are conservative and right of center is patently false. I challenge the author to cite just one such poll from a reputable firm.

On the contrary a recent poll conducted by Esquire/NBC News showed that the vast majority of people, 55%, are CENTRIST (neither left nor right) 25% are Conservative and 20% Liberal.

This delusional belief of being the majority, is why the Republcian Party is floundering and editorials like this simply underscore the arrogance and self-righteousness of many on the political Right.

December 12, 2013 at 11:37 p.m.
fairmon said...

Actually the majority appear to have views consistent with the libertarian principles but a third party cannot effectively participate in the process. It appears most have a liberal view about social issues and conservative views around fiscal behavior of government with less centralization of power. Neither of the two controlling parties offer this option.

December 15, 2013 at 4:58 a.m.
SDGoodell said...

Perhaps it will not be a third party; it is my feeling that the GOP has, in its cowering indecisiveness, doomed itself to the fate of the Whigs. The Libertarians or Tea Party will have to take up the slack left in the wake of the death throes of a Republican Party that has signed its own death warrant.

December 20, 2013 at 10:01 p.m.
jjmez said...

The Libertarians or Tea Party will have to take up the slack left in the wake of the death throes of a Republican Party that has signed its own death warrant.

People shouldn't be fooled by neither the Whig or Libertarian Party. They're GOP who are embarrassed and who jumped a sinking ship. They're just now attempting to re-invent themselves as a third or fourth party. However, their primary and original goals remain the same.

December 21, 2013 at 3:38 p.m.
sagoyewatha said...

Isn't it time to remove this and replace it with something people can respond to?

February 10, 2014 at 10:12 a.m.
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