The Frog and the Scorpion - JuniperCivic.com
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Originally published in the September 2012 Juniper Berry Magazine

The Frog and the Scorpion

On November 6, 2012 the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, will face off against President Barack Obama in the United States presidential election. Political strategists will tell you there are only two ways to run a presidential campaign. The first is the cry of 'We Need Change.' The second is the plea to 'Stay the Course.'

The 'We Need Change' chant worked well for Obama in 2008. Now he must convince the American people to 'Stay the Course.' Unfortunately I believe he will. In today's world, in the world of politics, money is a powerful weapon and Barack Obama has a lot of money. When he hasn't been apologizing for Americans or whining, lamenting, about the previous administration, he has been campaigning. He's been going to fundraisers for the better part of three years. Because of this I believe he will be re-elected. I hope I'm proven wrong. I just don't like this man. I never have. I don't trust him. He reminds me of a sleazy salesman in a shiny new suit, trying to act cool. He thinks he knows more than you or me. He thinks that we're an easy mark. He can't wait to talk down to us, to tell us what we need, rather than asking what we want.

It's also to his advantage that he is running against Mitt Romney. Maybe it's just me but I find it very difficult for the American people to embrace a man who is filthy rich, has such carefully chiseled features, and molded hair that seems incapable of breaking rank and file, even in a wind tunnel. I find it hard to believe he can warm the hearts of the American people.

Enter the Scorpion

A lot of thoughts come to mind about this particular election and yet the one I think about the most is an old tale. This election reminds me of a fable. It's called 'The Frog and the Scorpion.'

The story takes place at a riverbed. The scorpion has traveled far; he wants a new and secure place to live. The river, ever large and wide, is an imposing obstacle that stands in his way to another new beginning. The frog, wary about the dangerous nature of the scorpion, keeps a safe distance away. The scorpion senses this and yet he needs the help of the frog so he speaks out. The scorpion can't accomplish his goal without the support of the frog. His tone is confident; self-assured.

Mr. Frog, can you help me get across the river? Could you let me get on your back so I can get safely to the other side?

The frog turns to look over at the scorpion; he thinks about the request. It doesn't take but a moment for him to respond.

If I let you near me you'll sting me and I'll die. I can't do that. I can't help you.

The scorpion tries to be logical about this dilemma; he pleads his case once more.

Yes, I understand your concern, but I can't swim and I'm afraid of the water. If you let me on your back and I sting you we'll both drown. Why would I do that? What could I possibly gain by doing some thing like that?

Suddenly the scorpion's words begin to make sense. The frog is quiet, he reconsiders. The frog feels he can trust the scorpion.

Okay, I'll help you. Come on; get on my back. Let's go.

So the frog and scorpion enter the water together and begin to make their way across. The current is strong and yet the frog swims powerfully. Everything is going well; the frog feels good about himself. He's helping the scorpion complete his journey. And then! Halfway through their crossing, where the water is at its deepest, the frog feels a burning sensation. Through the corner of his eye he sees the scorpion's stinger pressed deeply into his back. The frog turns around; he cries out in shock.

What have you done? Now we both will die.

In a calm manner, not that of a creature that is soon to die, the scorpion speaks. It's my nature. I can't help myself. It's who I am! It's what I do.

This fable, this simple tale, has a strong meaning about nature, specifically human nature. In all likelihood, sometime after midnight, November 7, 2012, President Barack Obama, the scorpion, will be re-elected. The frog, in this case, the American people will feel that same burning sensation. We'll know the country is in very serious trouble, even more so than today. We'll feel we're doomed, that something terribly wrong is about to happen to this great nation.

We'll feel like we're drowning, we won't be able to breathe.

Just like in the fable the frog was trusting, and then he got burned. Maybe things aren't meant to change right now. Maybe they're only going to get worse. After all it's Barack Obama's nature. He can't help himself. It's who he is. It's what he does. Prove me wrong! In my opinion Mitt Romney is no bargain but let's choose the lesser of two evils. For now, that's the best we can do. Politics is a very dirty game, at times a very dishonest game, and yet there is no need for all of us to go under. We're still a great country, a great people. I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. There is always hope; at times it's all we have.