Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!
How did we arrive at a point in our history where gangs of hecklers chase politicians from restaurants, where senate hearings have lost all decorum, where family members and friends part ways over politics?
Every day brings new examples of incivility and violence. In the last twenty-four hours, I have casually browsed several sites online. Here was a professor advocating castration for white Republicans; celebrities mocking a black singer for praising the President; strangers leaving death threats on the phones of politicians, judges, and their families; anonymous callers phoning in false accusations of rape; some wicked soul mailing the poison ricin to a Republican senator and to officials at the Pentagon.
Only a quarter of a century ago this ongoing malevolence would have shocked most Americans. Sure, conservatives and liberals attacked each other, but those disagreements resemble a dialogue in Plato’s Academy compared to the howls and antics we find in 2018.
Why is this? Here are five possible answers:
1. Technological Advances
Twenty-five years ago, the Internet and cell phones were in their infancy. Twitter was a noise made by sparrows in the yard. These devices are wonderful but allow every bozo with an opinion—including myself—to shoot that opinion into cyberspace instantaneously and often anonymously. From school bullying to Supreme Court nominations, our technology gives us the power to destroy a fellow human being with threats and insults.
2. University Ideology
Remember when many people, liberals and conservatives alike, poked fun at political correctness on campus? Well, those smiles are gone. PC remains rampant in our educational institutions, only now graduates of Harvard, Duke, Stanford, and a few hundred other colleges have injected PC into the world of business and government. In our public universities we have long tolerated professors calling for radical changes to American society. The agents of this transformation are now sitting in boardrooms and on government committees.
Google “Americans ignorant about history.” Magazines as different as The Atlantic, American Heritage, and National Review feature articles lamenting this lack of knowledge about our past. In 2011, for example, a majority of adults didn’t know that the Constitution was the supreme law of the land. Others can’t identify the Bill of Rights, the Gettysburg Address, or the reason for celebrating Independence Day.
George Santayana famously remarked, “Those who don’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Given the dumbing down of our citizenry regarding history, he may be wrong. Instead of repeating history, we may instead descend into a dystopia we can’t even imagine. Fifty years of steering away from courses in basic civics and denigrating American achievements have produced a bumper crop of malice.
4. Politics as Religion
Many Americans have take politics for their religion, fanatical as any Reformation Calvinists or Catholics. We make gods of our politicians and demons of our opponents and their leaders. We are on the side of the angels and they conspire with devils.
5. Washington D.C.
“Follow the money” is a journalistic axiom. Okay. Let’s follow some money. Of the 25 richest counties in the United States, 11 are located in the area surrounding DC. The city also hosts administrators and employees of government, think tanks, lobbying groups, and private businesses involved in federal endeavors.
In other words, the scorpion bottle of our animosities is not in Boise, nor in Austin, nor in Minneapolis, it’s in D.C.
These and more are reasons for our division, what some have called a “cold civil war.”
I can’t offer any grand solutions. But I can think of a small one. If we would just talk to each other and ask each other questions, person-to-person, without all the cacophony of the mainstream media and the politicians, if we could agree to disagree and then vote, then maybe we could find our way back to a country we can love.
Emancipate yourself from inner slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds…
Have no fear for atomic energy, ’cause none of them can stop the time!
The effect of our affect is now.
For when are children grow up….
Desolation the landscape.
Malice and hypocrisy the environment.
Little toy gods.
Plastic human drones.
Scraps of foreign lands in our dirty hands.
In the depths of my reclusive forest…the honesty shines through…
‘nothing can stop the time.’
While, in the bowels of my vacant downtown,
the faces have no name.
The children of hate…conceived for money and fame.
Paris, November, 13th the year, Two Thousand and Fifteen
There is no bigger a coward than one who will shake your hand, pass you on the street, smile into your eyes, and hold hatred for you in their hearts.
With heavy hearts…so many morn. Disparaged over the needless loss of life. The unending hatred…that seems to have surfaced and will not go away.
Today, had been a day, to knock on doors, spread the good word. Speak of democracy as though it were,
…an everyday occurrence that we all enjoy
Yet, truth be told, the knocking, the needling of non committers and/or the honest pursuit of happiness,as the Constitution of the United States, depicts, we should all have…and, so on, and so forth, came with difficulty today. All the good tidings in the world could not convince my heart…that my world is on the brink of turmoil.
No way around it, violence begets violence. Whether it is the silent deadly kind of emotional abuse. The obvious but sometimes unquestioned kind, such as, physical abuse. Or, the mass killings of innocence. People none of us may know…but can somehow relate to…nonetheless.
Oddly enough, the two houses, I will never forget today and for days to come..were what I needed to reflect.
As I strolled the streets…asking for votes…the following experiences will forever remain in my soul.
The first house, had a deer strung up in an old oak tree. Hoofs pointed to the heavens. Akin to a lynching gone bad. This deer had been gutted and left in the woods to rot.
The second house held a new widower…it had just been one day before, that she had lost her husband of 49 years.
Backing down her porch steps, the pain in the widower’s eyes still ravaging her mind, I offered condolences and prayers.
Death had hung about my walk today. As if it were a reminder of things I take so blatantly as truth.
…the world is basically good. It is just thinking that makes some of us take another turn…
Prayers and thoughts to those who have fought in battle. Prayers and thoughts to those who found themselves in battles…in which they did not choose.
Old pirates, yes, they rob I;
Sold I to the merchant ships,
Minutes after they took I
From the bottomless pit.
But my hand was made strong
By the ‘and of the Almighty.
We forward in this generation
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
‘Cause none of them can stop the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look? Ooh!
Some say it’s just a part of it:
We’ve got to fulfill the book.
Won’t you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
‘Cause all I ever had:
All I ever had:
These songs of freedom,
Songs of freedom.
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