1 vote

Rudy "The Gingrinch" McRomney, Ron Paul and the Useless Tree

Inspired by ytc's post If Newt Gingrich is really 'very serious' about running for president in 2012. . . and based on Chuang Tzŭ's original The Useless Tree:

Rudy "The Gingrinch" McRomney said to Ron Paul, "We have a big tree growing in the GOP, the kind they call a 'stinktree.' The trunk is so distorted, so full of knots, neither lawyers nor lobbyists can get a straight plank out of it. The branches are too strong, you can’t even cut them!

"There it stands. Nobody in D.C. wants to look at it. Just like you and your 'Revolution.' Big and useless!"

Ron Paul replied, "Have you ever watched a statesman stare down a demagogue? The clown squirms in the glare of the crowd, leaping this way and that, his finger thrust to the wind. Eventually he's trapped by his own big mouth. Or have you seen a politician? Pompous as a thundercloud, he stands in his might. Big? Sure, but he can't catch Osama bin Laden!

"As for that big tree - no use? Then plant it in the wasteland, in the emptiness where lobbyists fear to tread. Walk idly around it, pretend you don’t see it. No axe or bill prepares its end. It can never be cut down.

"Useless? You should worry!"

Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Truth can be ignored for a very long time,

but it can never be destroyed. No matter how long it languishes it's potency is never decreased, but only increases with time. They better worry, but are too arrogant to do so probably.


Defend Liberty, for Liberty
Vote for President Ron Paul 2012

I understood it and

it really hit home for me. It is going to be an interesting year for sure.

"We can see with our eyes, hear with our ears and feel with our touch, but we understand with our hearts."

Michael Nystrom's picture

Thank you Sandy!

I'm glad someone understood it, lol.

He's the man.

I don't know anything about Tzu--

but I read it . . .

and I will bump.

If I say, "good job, Mr. Nystrom", then it sounds like I'm trying to impress the 'teacher'--LOL!

If I say, "I didn't understand it, Mr. Nystrom", then I will only be telling a partial truth, because I did understand some of it, I think, even if I haven't read Tzu.

If I criticize it . . . well, I understand how difficult it is to write that I won't critize someone unless they ask for it, and then usually only grammar and sentence construction, because I haven't read Tzu and have specialized in British satire from the 1900s--

You passed on grammar and sentence construction--


it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Michael Nystrom's picture

Ha ha ha

Anyway, it is all in fun. Nothing to take too seriously.

The moral of the original story of the useless tree is this:

Someone is criticizing Chuang Tzu and his philosophy, saying it is useless; Chuang Tzu's response is that because it is perceived as so useless, no one will touch it; no one will dare cut it down.

So which is more useful, a tree that gets cut down, or a tree that is so "useless" that no one will ever cut it down?

He's the man.

ah . . . until there are no other trees left . . .

and then everyone will want/need a tree and will turn to the 'useless' one--

Naru hodo--

(now I see, or it makes sense, as you probably know, from the Japanese)

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Sorry, but this looks

Sorry, but this looks incoherent to me.

After reading Tzŭ's fable I think I can see where you're trying to go.

But the distinction between "statesman" and "politician" is easy to miss. The pun between "bill" as legislation and a cutting tool works against, rather than for, the point. So does following the translation closely so the reader accepts the GOP's labeling it as a "Stink Tree", and not letting us know until late that it's the Liberty Movement being described. (Yet deviating from the translation would probably break the punchline.) The wording implies that NOBODY can get coherent legislation or campaign planks out of the tree, not that it's only useless to lawyers and lobbyists trying to construct a legislative infernal machine.

We're not interested in just having a nice place in the wilderness to be relaxed and free. We're also interested in getting the government off our back so being free in the wilderness and other freedoms (some applicable to urban settings) are options. So the fable only covers part of the movement. The whole original fable takes as a given that the existing power structure will remain in power and just gives them the advice that non-conventional actions will let them avoid straight-out destroying troublesome factions while still getting them out of the way and milking some benefits out of them. That's not the advice I expect from Ron Paul.

Nice try. But a rehacked fable needs to stand on its own and cause the desired lightbulb to come on in the reader's head by the end. Perhaps a similar effort with a different starting point might lead to the desired result.

Bit I suspect China will be a poor mine. Most of the surviving "Eastern Wisdom" was built around supporting their tyrannies and keeping their enormous population in line. (Hardly surprising, since the tyrannies were strong enough to to expunge most of the ideas they didn't like from the historical record and culture, and drown the remainder in ideas leading to convenient docility.)

= = = =
"Obama’s Economists: ‘Stimulus’ Has Cost $278,000 per Job."

That means: For each job "created or saved" about five were destroyed.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Your interpretation

reveals volumes about yourself.

Thank you for sharing.

He's the man.

good posts deserve bumps

Thanks Michael.

LL on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LibertyPoet
sometimes LL can suck & sometimes LL rocks!
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15