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Thursday, August 14, 2014

No. 000062 Governor Nixon Searches Within Himself


It is said Gaius Julius Caesar wept when he stood at the base of the statute of Alexander III of Macedon, Alexander the Great.

Often, this is part of a metaphor about Caesar's ambition (but Caesar was less a man driven by ambition than the instinct to survive). 

What we do know from the Poets is that once any man or woman reaches a certain maturity there are moments where we must stand from time-to-time before some place, alone, with our own thoughts, in this moment of metaphor as old as human kind.

It can first be when a pet passes or a grandparent. It can be at an alter for Communion. It can be a battlefield monument of some forgotten regiment, filling a rainy afternoon away from the beach. 

We have built magnificent monuments—for Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson—or a handsome sculptures of generals on horseback or General Grant's tomb or cemeteries, anticipating such moments.

Or is can be entirely makeshift, as it is for Michael Brown, telling us that even the last of us is equal to the first, equally entitled to his or her statute or monument.

So here Governor Jay Nixon stands within the metaphor that will come to define him and his life. 

No Hollywood director or screen writer or novelist could ever have story booked this scene. A perfect Missouri August afternoon, mild and cooled by a breeze, without a cloud.

A young man passed here, from a family and community so threadbare …

From what we know about Governor Jay Nixon it is not easy to imagine that he ever thought that such a moment could come to him. He doubtless never scripted out that the last two years of his public life would be dominated by Twitter's social media hashtags of #MikeBrown and #Ferguson.

And, he now carries the knowledge within that when he reaches Saint Peter or whomever now gate keeps eternity he will be cross examined about this moment, the implicit promises being made here.