’tis the season of anger, of fear of the unknown, fear of being left behind with out a voice and knee-jerk reactions to world events. A season that has stirred a boiling pot of irrational thinking and decisions creating a foul smelling stew. It’s flavor is acidic burning away all that is good and rational. France, Turkey, Belgium exotic foreign places on people’s bucket list are now put aside with the black and white simplicity of fear. The vision of the world seems to have been shaken to it’s very core relying on a type of ambiguousness as de rigor. It’s a vision of unlimited guns and videos of violence that permeate the landscape. This uncertainty gives birth to simplistic responses of walls and mass deportations coupled with isolationism. What exactly does “Make America Great Again” actually mean? Is it a throw back to a simpler less complicated time in our history of pre-integration, nuclear families with a mom and a dad, corporate responsibility and patriotism, manufacturing as a backbone of our economy, a middle class thriving and recreating the dark shadows of sexual orientation? Democracy derives its strength from the patriotic heroes who care for the well being of the citizens who live under this self-rule experiment. The guardians of this democracy are not only our soldiers and veterans, police and firemen but also teachers and volunteer workers and businesses who pay a living wage and non-profits helping to create a just environment for all, not just those who agree with them. These are the patriotic heroes of our time. This is how America is great. It is living the beatitudes fully and completely (not only when they are convenient but especially when they are inconvenient) , they blur the lines between us and them.
This week in Cleveland at the Republican National Convention, anger was prominently on display under red, white and blue balloons and festive cowboy hats. These are people who seemed, at times, to be full of rage and making counter intuitive choices based on that rage. It seemed to be an exercise in the abandonment of rationalism. As the days moved forward, lost was the familiar face of true Republicanism (gradually lost after the Eisenhower administration) and the birth of the cult of personality. (Since Trump needs to see his name in huge letters, everywhere, I am surprised that he didn’t change the name of the convention to the Trump National Convention.) The attendees seem to be following the personality of Donald Trump blindly and without thought as he tells them how bad the country is without offering plausible and workable solutions. He is the man in the mirror although there is no reflection and there is no depth. The convention goers are like lemmings rushing headlong toward the edge of the cliff dragging a once noble party with them. I’ve yet to hear anything substantive or hopeful from this gathering. “Lock her her up” is not a campaign slogan worthy of any political party. The only hope to end this charade is to turn out in November and repudiate hate, and restore some sanity.
The trouble is when one is full of fear and hatred, one tends to make stupid choices.
and so it goes…