By Kerri Romeo
‘Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it.’the Duchess
from Alice In Wonderland, Chapter IX
When Alice last saw the Duchess she was neglecting and mistreating her child. When they meet again, the Duchess leans in uncomfortably close to Alice in a subliminally charged power move. While in an attempt to prove herself virtuous, she misapplies a moral to out-of-place (and sometimes misquoted) sayings, proverbs and idioms.
In our American Wonderland, in business, media and in politics, this feels all too familiar. People in positions of power behave inappropriately and will gaslight their victims into believing they have misinterpreted or are overreacting to their subtle and not-so-subtle moves. We have been raised to be polite and accommodating to authority. We have been conditioned to fear the repercussions of speaking up and to bear the burden in silence. Meanwhile, politicians will proclaim their moral high ground with platitudes and empty promises. Media markets their message with the objective to share the truth, to educate and inform us with their misleading and biased points of view. These behaviors (power-plays, moral pontification and propaganda) are not exclusive and typically overlap between business, politics and media. Are you catching on? Alice is…
“Oh, ’tis love, ’tis love, that makes the world go round!”‘
‘Somebody said,’ Alice whispered, ‘that it’s done by everybody minding their own business!’
‘Ah, well! It means much the same thing,’ said the Duchess
That “somebody” is the Duchess herself as Alice revisits their earlier conversation. Conscious citizens today are remembering the words and actions of the current president and people in congress; one criticized his predecessor and the others cried at the gates and walls of shame to only hide the truth. They expect us to mind our own business as they carry on the same policies they wanted us to be outraged over during election season. Where is the love? Is there love in war? The political world and media want to know what cause is near and dear to your heart? Is it feminism? Democracy? Children? Is it because they care? Jesse Crall has talked about how our support for war is gained by tugging at our heartstrings on social issues while the truth (hidden in plain sight) would have our hearts breaking instead.
As the Duchess repeats nonsense, Alice can no longer accept what she is being told and counters her with the truth and knowledge. Sometimes she makes mistakes, sometimes she takes a moment to think before speaking, but her goal is always the truth.
Do you believe politics can exist with truth and morality? Can we put knowledge of our history and our present into positive action? How can we find our common ground again?
“Be what you would seem to be”–or if you’d like it put more simply–“Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.”‘the Duchess
from Alice In Wonderland, Chapter IX
With the powers that be claiming kindness and humanity, why can’t they be what they seem to be?
The Duchess was afraid Alice’s flamingo would bite her. Her moral was “birds of a feather flock together.” Because Victoria is curious like Alice she was able to apply this moral effectively in “Social Media Thoughts: What Irritates Us About Others”
From the Duchess to a mock turtle, the conversation continues with Mystery in History.
Even if you missed the first meeting, it’s not too late to join us for a discussion of our political wonderland! Save the date for the 2nd Wonderland Campaign Discussion Group Meeting: Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 3 PM Eastern Time (2 PM Central, 12 PM Pacific).
Kerri is an advocate for the introverted activist. Often at a loss for words in person, she writes to make sense of the world and connect with others. She wishes for more curiosity & kindness in the world.