I am interested in how fables and folktales reflect politics and modern life. ¬†I’ve been thinking about the story of Golem for a while now.
In Jewish folklore a Golem is a huge being drawn from inanimate matter. ¬†The word Golem does occur in Scripture and means an unshaped form. It is commonly means an uncultivated being or a brainless lunk created to do another’s bidding. ¬†(This is not Golum from The Fellowship of the Rings. ¬†Different spelling and different being.)
In folklore stories, the Golem’s purpose is usually ¬†to fend off attackers or keep out maurauders. This being does in fact turn back or destroy those who would attack the community. ¬†The problem is that eventually this being turns on its creators and does terrible violence to those who raised the being from the unformed mass.
This story of the Golem reminds me of Tea Party and the Republican party. Fox News largely drew the Tea Party from an inchoate mass of distrust, anger and fear. Now this Golem is turning on the Republican party it was meant to defend.
Tea Party candidates are running against mainstream Republicans and, in the primaries, are winning. These more extreme Tea Party candidates are causing untold problems for Republicans who believe in cooperation, moderation, and reaching across the aisle to get things done. ¬†They are pushing the party further and further to the right when Republican candidates must appeal to a wider audience of independent voters in the general election, an audience who doesn’t share their extreme views.
It will be interesting to see how this particular Golem story turns out.