Dear All – In the famed Harry Potter series there is a very important magical creature, the hinkypunk. Hinkypunks are small one legged ghostlike creatures who cast a false light so travelers mistake the light for a true road and follow the hinkypunks into the bog. They are mischievous little critters who lure you away from the road not because they want to help as their light suggests, but because they want the pleasure of confusing and confounding travelers.
I think in many of our national debates we are facing a serious case of the hinkypunks. We are being fed false stories that appear real and lead us off the road and into the bog. We are being told to follow the false lights of national health care killing grandmothers, of a “post racial” era where white males are the new minority, where coal is “clean” and Afghanistan is the “good war.” In this hinkypunk land torture can be made legal by a memo, corporations need protection from unions, and in Missouri you can get a free AK-47 when you buy a truck because the new socialist government wants to remove the 2nd amendment.
The proposed solution in Harry Potter is that you have to resist the lure of the lights the hinkypunks cast – in short you cannot try to get home before it is time. You need to stay your path – even when lost – and resist following the false light further into the abyss.
In the case of our national debates we need to listen deeply, search for facts, and resist the multi million dollar media machine telling us up is down and the sun is the moon. We must ask who and what is helped by creating hysteria over public option health care? Who and what is helped by claiming coal can be made clean? Who and what benefits from the many bobbing lights encouraging us into a bog of distractions that sacrifice real decisions and real ideas that could help real people.
Nationalized health care would help grandmothers and many others, having one African American president doesn’t make white men the new minority and no one has ever suggested removing the 2nd amendment at least no one that was ever listened to. So let us place our feet as a nation back on a path of integrity where we as citizens have access to news that informs, public debates that shape ideas and public policy that strives for a common good.
Let us banish the hinkypunks by not listening, not following the light and getting home with one less tour through a bog…Much Peace Liz