One of the oddities of America I continue to experience to this day is the sheer amazing amount of people who are so quick to give away their personal thoughts, their voice, their opinions and ideas for those of another and then mistaking these obvious acts of abdication while proclaiming them acts of individual freedom.
In time, the more popular of these arbiters of truth, justice and usually anything but the American way grow their flock or herd of followers to such large dimensions that in many ways those who believe rely on sheer size alone to justify the underlying messages that make their personal and shared ventures into the unknowing in gospel truth on nothing more than how many suckers and losers are willing to believe the lies.
These include lies both big and small, with demonstrable falsehoods bereft of any evidence or logic whatsoever as the stuff of secrets known only among the true believers, for in this echo-chamber world of one fantastical story after another belief alone is the only arbiter of absolute truth.
It’s true because I believe it is true is the coin of this misbegotten realm and if you don’t believe me, well then, this guy over there, the one with the fast car and eye candy on his shoulder thinks so too and that is more than enough for me.
Recently, we have seen a dramatic expansion of the type of “ditto-head” mentality that has led to a near 50-50% split in our American psyche, led by one ignorant yet arrogant ignoramus, grifter, con-man that I do admit is of some skill to dupe the masses into believing the way to their shared salvation was by dividing the United States into two nearly equal parts.
Then once the division, derision, degradation with more than a hint of violence aimed at an eventual civil war that they would win, thereby proving there was never more than one true America and it was them with their God-given right to practice their anger, hatred, rage, racism, misogyny, homophobia and religious intolerance now part and parcel of their definition of a true American and American freedom. Patriots one and all.
In the end, their mythical, non-magical and dystopian vision of a future in which the righteousness of their cause would be validated by a war of virtue in which the forces of good, including all those who lie, cheat, steal, obfuscate and hate for their cause, will eventually defeat the defenders of evil.
In their eyes, the evil including non-believers who sin by doing nothing more than trying to do good deeds, loving their neighbor, respecting the rights of men and women of every kind and everywhere to make their own decisions be it involving whoever they wish to love, the right to speak freely, to practice the religious of their choice and when to have or not birth a child.
Once embedded as gospel, with the only “truth” coming from but one source, right wrong or indifferent to reality as this truth might be, a strange sense of belonging takes hold with excommunication for the cult being the surest way to an unhappy life in the present and an unhappy eternity in hell.
The stakes are high for this bunch for once “acceptance” has taken hold, the alternative of being back in a far scarier world of individuality accompanied by responsibility for one’s own actions becomes the stuff of Faustian nightmares.
We call those instincts and/or conditioning to find salvation in hatred, fear and anger our worst as they lead to nothing except more hatred, fear and anger without solving a single problem much less making the world a nicer, safer, more tolerant and compassionate place to live.
It leads the gullible or at least highly impressionable, and truth be told, stupid, to hoard guns, buy survival supplies and hide in the mountains as if this and this alone would insure their survival for the coming “storm” of their own making. Q is not real and there is no place where one and all can go. MAGA is not real. America is great when we overcome our differences and learn to respect if not admire the differences, and diversity between us.
For the true American understands the value of each person’s contribution to the melting pot, leading to new ideas, new inventions and yes, new ways of living, loving and caring for each other.
The American patriot finds pride in our ability to grow, if not flourish by taking the time to talk, ask questions, uncover and discover what we have in common before questioning, if at all, the validity of customs, beliefs and actions of those who, at least on the surface, do seem a bit alien at times, but in the final analysis are invariably found to be yet another viable if not desirable way of living one’s life according to the moral and societal code of their past, and now choice.
Yes, we Americans have done great things. We have won wars that could not be lost. We have sent a man to the moon. We have overcome disease, and shortly will again, and made it our goal in life to make the lives of each successive generation better than the one before.
We as Americans recognize and cherish our individual and inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as our birthright, but not to the extent that our own pursuit of happiness denies the rights of our fellow American sisters and brothers their God given right to pursue those same rights in the manner of their choice.
The true American patriot believes in the rule of law, in racial equality and criminal justice. In economic parity where each person can go as far as their hard work skill, and ambition will take them, free from slavery, be it actual or of an economic nature. A level playing field where the government does not pick winners and losers.
In short, in America, we all do better when we all do better. Not just monetarily mind you, but when we engage in acts of loving kindness, empathy and comfort that if nothing else, does make life better for the giver and receiver of such acts, the result being, well, better.
Half of America is doing this already, the other half, not so much. I know whose side I am on. Do you?