This has to be said. It has to be said today. Normally, I sit on all posts for at least 24 hours for edits and revisions. I don’t feel I can wait with this one. This is too important an issue. We have to start healing a rift in American politics. The consequences of not doing so are universal, as reported long ago, in a galaxy far, far away:
“Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
This the the path to the Darkside, laid out by Master Yoda to a fearful young Anakin Skywalker early enough in Episode 1 that I had yet to write off the prequels. Not much earlier, but that’s a post for another blog. My point hear is that American Politics started down this road quite some time ago, and we’re well on our way to telekinetic choke-holds and shooting lightening out of our fingers. The hate is abundant, and the suffering has begun.
“Change we can believe in” is change to be afraid of. A large segment of the population had been primed for fear since the Reagan years. The funny thing about the GOP politics of the last 40 years is that they’ve managed to convince a large segment of their base that Democrats are wasteful and favor too much oversight while it is the GOP that keeps running up the deficit and trampling civil liberties. I’ll be glad to elaborate on both points later, but for now, I just want to ask, Where is the party of Lincoln? The party of Teddy Roosevelt? Where are the progressives who are looking out for the citizens and our joint General Welfare?
Instead, what we have is a ton of people convinced that GOP leaders need the ability to wiretap phones to protect them from people who would seek to take away their liberty, and a lot of other people who see the irony, including a few who are scared to death of the possible consequences. So, you have a lot of “conservatives” saying that we need to sacrifice liberty to insure safety, and a lot of over-the-top libertarians scared to death to give security one inch of their liberty. We have a lot of frightened people
What comes next? The fracturing of the conservatives from Ron Paul libertarians, and the GOP’s near total loss of connection to moderates sweeps in Change We Can Believe In, including a mixed race president and a slew of progressives who want to roll back some of these ‘Security” programs installed by the GOP and to even go so far as to say that we are going to promise our citizens Life and the Pursuit, if not the attainment, of Happiness. These are big changes for scared people to accept. Fear leads to Anger.
Anger doesn’t stop the change. The people who voted for change still want it. Hell, many of them want more than they are getting. Anger isn’t abating the fear. The unknown is still encroaching, and how can that possibly be good?
Now, in the days leading up to the first major break-through, and the unavoidable evidence that change will keep coming, we see hate. We have protesters mocking the sick. We have pundits taunting families over their losses. We have “activists” screaming obscenities and slurs at the people who are, in all earnestness, trying to do what is right for the greater good.
We need to reach these people. We need to break this cycle. We need to do whatever we can to prevent more suffering. These people are afraid; and that’s not a crime. They are ignorant or they simply see things from a perspective that isn’t reflected in the majority. Either way, that doesn’t make them bad, or even wrong. It makes them scared, angry, and in some cases, hateful. Don’t let that hate make you afraid. Reach out to them, and beg them to talk to you. Even if they can’t agree, maybe they can learn that there is nothing to fear.