My mom is 97 and among other things has neuropathy in her feet. She reads a lot of magazines and watches television, just the news and weather channels, but she is constantly bombarded with ads for miracle cures for all sorts of things, including neuropathy. She often asks me to purchase this cure or that treatment for her because she has read, seen or heard that it will solve her problem. As a dutiful son, I always look into the product and the claims made for it and I have yet to find one that is anything other than snake oil. That’s right, snake oil. BTW real Chinese Water Snake oil was a valid anti-inflammatory but the term came to describe fake snake oil being sold by dishonest brokers. Since the dawn of time these dishonest brokers have been out there selling this oil, or that drink to cure all ills or whatever specific ill you might have. It’s the silver bullet concept. One shot and the problem is gone.
Now, this may work with werewolves, I haven’t been able to find any really good data on whether it does or not, but a lot of Eastern Europeans swear by it, and Hollywood has endorsed it as the only method for getting rid of these pesky creatures. Other patent medicines won’t work, just a silver bullet.
Today, we have two critical situations in the United States, the COVID virus and the push towards socialism and both are silver bullet situations. On the one hand we want a silver bullet vaccine which will stop the virus in it tracks like Reverend Lowe being stopped in the Stephen King novella “Cycle of the Werewolf.” Those over seventy will remember the terror of polio and the closings that accompanied it and the relief the Salk vaccine brought to society. So, a silver bullet is possible and this history only magnifies the yearning for another “miracle” cure. But hiding yourself away and yearning for a champion to deliver you from purgatory isn’t what we should be about. Finding ways around, over, and through difficult situations has, until now, been a trademark of American society. We do not cower in a darkened room rather we go out and face adversity. We can persevere and overcome whether we find a silver bullet or not.
And then there is the silver bullet of socialism which the purveyors claim will cure all the ills of racism and inequality. They have aimed and fired this “silver” slug at the heart of capitalism and democracy and those concepts have, truth be told, been more than little wounded. Whether they die remains to be seen, but the questions become was the bullet really silver or was it lead poisoned with hatred, and is this “silver” bullet any different than the cure-alls my mom is constantly told will change her life? As a good son I must say that I have yet to discover any socialist country that has eradicated racism, poverty or inequality but I have read extensively about a number of socialists regimes that have bankrupted the economies of their respective countries, worsened poverty, encouraged brain drain and created a tiered system of haves and have nots. And in reading the history of these countries I have discovered that the change to socialism all began with purveyors promising the silver bullet to cure all societal ills.
We could go into a detailed discussion of how people are manipulated but you can read that in my earlier blogs. Suffice it to say that if your hope lies in the Lone Ranger riding in on a white horse with his silver bullets to slay all ills, then you might want to take serious stock of your personal belief system.