“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
Thus begins A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. And today we have the tale of two Americas, a dark day for some, a new day for others. Surprisingly, even after the election results, I awoke this morning to the sun still rising in the east, its light spreading forth across the world. Birds still sang happily. The cat woke me with her habitual morning kiss, desiring good-morning strokes. The dogs anxiously bolted from their nighttime kennel, escaping to the backyard so they could bark at the neighbor’s dogs before settling in for breakfast and a fresh drink of water. The coffee from the Keurig still tasted fine, and my wife was still the loveliest woman on the planet in my admittedly biased eyes.
In short, life continued.
Yet, in the eyes of some it did not. Hate speech overflows the Internet and social media. Fear and loathing fills parts of America as Liberals and Social Justice Warriors bemoan the downfall of civilization not only in America but throughout the entire world.
Protestors gathered in the streets by the thousands decrying their hatred of our president-elect.
Articles describing how bad the country is going to be such as “Trump voters will not like what happens next”, “If Donald Trump wins, it’ll be a new age of darkness”, and “An American Tragedy” are posted and shared by those I know to be intelligent.
Comments such as, “I am also completely embarrassed to be an American. I have never felt so ashamed for the human race. I never thought we would have white supremacist with their hands in America, but, I guess that is what the uneducated white men and women in this country want. I never knew we had sooo many uneducated people in the USA…wow!! How could I have so completely misjudged the depths of misogyny, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, bigotry and just plain hate that a majority of my countrymen / women have sunk to. I no longer love this country. I am sickened by the people in this country who are so cruel, selfish, arrogant, racist, sexist, and just plain mean that they believe that orange-faced buffoon is actually a good thing. I will never like or respect this country again. Ever. There is nothing to proud of here. That rapist, pedophile, sexual predator, narcissistic, demagogue will never, ever be my president. I am simply terrified. Dark and unpredictable times ahead. I am scared for my children and grandchildren in a way I have never before experienced. Also scared for the planet. The KKK is already rejoicing.” And many others with language I will not quote show a despondency hard to overlook.
And I understand and empathize to a point. It’s hard to lose what you believe in. I get that. And I get it’s not about politics, but about a worldview. You see the causes you championed falling away. You see the clock turning backward to a time from which you struggled to escape. But it’s not so. It’s an illusion turned delusion.
A particular post catching my attention read, “America has spoken. I do not matter. Minorities do not matter. Women do not matter. Immigrants do not matter. Gay people do not matter. Teachers do not matter. Education does not matter. Diplomacy does not matter. Love does not matter. Truth does not matter. Integrity does not matter. The American ‘experiment’ is, in all likelihood, over and done with.”
This from an individual who is a church leader and had previously taken several opportunities to “chastise” me personally for expressing viewpoints that differ from his, or perhaps were simply stated in ways he finds uncomfortable (although there are many rather unfriendly posts targeting conservatives on his own timeline).
My point: Really? Sorry. But you’re completely wrong. All those things still matter.
I can understand pathetic pathos emanating from the world, but from those who profess God in their lives? Seriously? How do you honestly join that Christ died for you and God loves you with the concept that you do not matter? I point toward this not to single out or pick on this particular individual who hopefully remains anonymous. But only to use it as an example replicated throughout society.
My question: Why are you victimizing yourself? Why are you separating what you profess to join together? Why do you despise the results of Democracy you support as a tool to gain your own ends?
Perhaps therein lies the answer – Your own selfish ends. The original sin of Satan’s downfall.
Democracy is wonderful when it supports your own selfish desires. But it suddenly becomes the tool of evil racists, misogynists, xenophobes, homophobes, and bigots when it does not. I particularly like the term “obstructionists” used to describe politicians with opposing viewpoints representing the interests of the constituents they are actually supposed to serve.
Let that sink in.
Why the hate? Isn’t that what you speak so vehemently against, yet spew forth in dragon’s breath against those who oppose you? Why do you use words describing fear and evil? Simply because they are inflammatory? Or are you simply too afraid of your unsubstantiated positions to actually speak truth about others?
This election was not about Trump being a good or even desired candidate for the highest position in the land. It was a response to your own racist bigotry you are blind to.
Let’s use South Africa as an example. Apartheid was horribly wrong, and Nelson Mandela will be enshrined in history for his untiring devotion to its abolishment. With its meaning of “separateness,” it segregated people into classes and put ruling power over a majority into the hands of a minority. Both parts of this equation were wrong. Thanks be to God that Mandela was outraged enough to act and sacrifice to overthrow this tyranny.
Can you see any semblance here? American Apartheid in recent years was not overtly horrific as in the case of South Africa, but it shared a similar spirit of division and overrule by a minority of people. This never works. This is subjugation not liberation, domination not freedom.
The Left has sought to segregate people into groups of Black, White, Latino, Native American, Asian, Straight, Gay, Transgender, etc. And also into groups of groups, such as “People of color” and “LGBT”. Whenever you group people, the natural psychology of the human brain seeks to define them by differences. What makes red different than blue? What makes hot different than cold? What makes good different than evil? That’s the way our mental storage boxes into which we drop concepts are created. It is called surprisingly enough “differentiation”.
Another aspect of human psychology is that we adhere to those who are similar and shun those who are different. This is not hatred or discrimination (at least not in the social warrior sense), it is merely a fact that is in part a survival mechanism. We are social creatures and there must be a commonality that brings us together as a family, a team, a community, or a nation. Stressing differences by grouping and categorizing people alienates us from one another.
Instead, we should be looking for sameness that will unify. Yet you choose tactics to divide? Stressing differences strengthens the “us vs. them” mentality that has been the source of conflict between individuals, families, factions, societies, and nations for millennia.
America spoke this election by saying she was simply fed up with your crap. And that’s exactly what it is. Crap. Lots of it. Deep. Smelly, Squishy. Crap.
You scream against angry old white men being the enemy. Let me remind you it was exactly that group who wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These words are foundational to why you can scream against those who gave you the right. Rather ironic.
If it is racist to discriminate and hate a person for being black or brown, it is just as racist to hate someone for being white. Being a misogynist who hates women because of their female genitals is equally as wrong as being a misandrist hating men because of their male genitals.
Xenophobia implies the fear of those foreign to us. There was nothing in the political rhetoric I heard to substantiate that conclusion in any way. What was said was that if undesirable and destructive foreign elements are entering the country illegally – as opposed to legally – they should be prevented from entering. That’s not fear of foreigners, nor is it global to all foreigners, it’s simply common sense to protect our citizens from such occurrences as 9/11 and illegal drug and human trafficking. If you really believe otherwise then I challenge you to leave your doors and windows unlocked and open when you are home, away, and asleep at night. And do not lock your car doors or roll up your windows when parked in your driveway or at the supermarket or at the shopping mall or stopped in traffic traveling through a bad part of the city. Show a little trust, please. Open your own borders.
Homophobia is much the same. There is no fear of someone with a different gender preference. Admittedly, there is disdain perhaps, but not fear. Disdain because, in the minds of many, there is a moral issue in addition to a psychological or biological one. All three major world religions consider it a sin. Islam punishes it by death. Christianity simply doesn’t like it. But is it a sin? Does it really matter from a social perspective? Not really. Many choose to sin and have free will to do so. So who am I to judge the actions of another? I’ll not be accountable for it and have plenty of my own sins to worry about. Let them do what they like regardless of how I feel about it. I think it really boils down to the re-defining of a word considered sacred by many. Marriage. This word denotes a special bond between a man and a woman that is holy and not to be defiled. Is it defiled? Yes, and quite often. But that’s not a valid argument to change the definition. And it’s not even about the right for same-sex partners to “marry”. It’s about calling the joining together a “marriage” when by definition (according to people of faith) it cannot be such. So let people join together and have all the legal rights of a marital union. Just call it something different and do not force those who morally object to perform the ceremony.
Also, do not try to force people to like what they morally object to. Tolerance is about recognizing something exists and not making an issue about it. Like marriage, Social Justice Warriors demand we change the meaning of tolerance from recognition to embracing and supporting an idea. We don’t. And we won’t. You’re wasting your time and becoming quite irritating in the process. The more you push it on us, the more we will resist. Leave us alone, and just let everyone get along fine. We accept it, but we don’t like it. That should be good enough since it’s the best you’re going to get.
Remember, we have religious freedom in this country. I cannot tell you who or what to worship or not worship nor vice-versa. Freedom works both ways. But you seek in your intolerant quest for tolerance to not tolerate or allow religious viewpoints with which you do not agree.
I saved the best for last. Bigot. A person who is intolerant of those holding different opinions. Wow. If you are hurtling hate speech against those who disagree, let me assure you the evil you see before you is, in reality, the devil inside you. Please hold up a mirror and gaze deeply. Think about how you feel about those who disagree with you. Then say…
Mirror, mirror, before my face
As a member of the human race,
I ask you help me empathize
To see the world through other’s eyes.
That I would not deny their view
Nor by my words seek to outdo,
But let me see that we’re akin
So as we join we both may win.
God loves you, whether you believe in Him or not. And I will pray for you whether you want me to or not, although you’ll probably never know. And this could easily and hopefully be a prayer instead of a poem. So it is my earnest prayer that you consider your methods and try to find ways in which we can join together. Both sides – liberal and conservative – are right and wrong. Both viewpoints contain good from which each side can learn. But fighting for dominance is not the answer. And believe me, all the discussion here points fingers back at me as well. I have to do this just like I’m urging you.
But we must neither be victims if we are to be victors. We must not be bullies if we are to lift others up. We must not be harmful if we wish to be healers.
So please let us abandon the two Americas for but one. Let us seek not to divide, but to join. Let’s see not our differences, but our similarities. Let’s become not the Disjointed States, but the United States.
Quit your sniveling, be part of the country, and help make it a better place. Start by making yourself a better person. As it stands neither of us are the solution we think we are.
But together we can be.