Sunday, November 5, 2017

Remember, Remember, The Fifth Of November...

Remember, remember, the fifth of November, The gunpowder treason and plot…

In the spirit of commemoration, I thought we could mark this November the 5th by taking some time from the political and societal scandals – fodder that once was the exclusive domain of the checkout line tabloids but now consume every facet of our daily lives – to share a few thoughts.

No, I am not proposing anarchy – far from it.  We need a certain amount of order and norms for our society to function.  Yet there can be no question that since the last Fifth of November, a great many things have happened in OUR government – I’m talking about reality, not some dystopian Hollywood concoction that incites fear and discord among us.

How did this happen? Who's to blame?

Certainly there are some that are more to blame than others, but the truth is – and this is a hard truth for many – you need only look into a mirror.

Conservatives. Liberals. Republicans and Democrats. We did this to ourselves. We allowed it to happen.

We allowed a reality TV host with really bad hair to assume the highest, most powerful office in the world. But what choice did we have, as the other candidate seemingly maneuvered her party’s nomination years in advance, eliminating any opportunities for opposing voices to keep her from achieving her goal.

We have found that the political process is EXACTLY what we feared it was: an illusion, created by those chosen few in control of the process, to “elect” candidates of their choosing. Party primaries, nominations, the conventions – all political theatre to mollify you into thinking that your voice was heard. That your voice somehow mattered.

And yet – I honestly cannot say that I disagree with everything that our current government has done, just as we – you and I, no matter how diverse and divergent our views may be – have some things in common.

Maybe it is idealism. Maybe it is brainwashing. Maybe it is naivety. But I believe – I HAVE to believe – that there are better times ahead.

We have lost our national identity. I know not when it was lost, and I don’t think it really matters.  However, I do know that finding it may be the only way that we can salvage and protect the things that we commonly believe in.  We have banded together countless times in our history – during times of war, times of national tragedy. So I know it is possible.

But we have to persevere.

We have to ignore the nonsense.

We have to disregard insane Twitter and social media posts – not only from those in power, but from those we know to be spreading the very discord that is poisoning our values and way of life (yes, the irony is not lost on me that I am sharing this on social media myself).

Speak out against the things we know to be wrong, and brave enough to stand for what is right.  Again, there are some of you that will not agree with me, just as I will not agree with you. But only though constructive dialogue will we ever achieve common ground.

So, on this Fifth of November, I ask not for revolution, but to join me and attempt to bring civility back. I have already started – I have been consciously and actively scaling back radical views and politics from my life and writings. And I will continue to do so.

But I will not sit idly by and allow our great country to continue to divide over feckless minutia and vapid Hollywoodesque headlines.