What a strange time….

What a strange time….
But when in history were the times NOT strange?
The “cutting edge” in U.S. politics has passed to the right – even further to the right, it seems, than in Reagan’s day. A resurgent threat of individualism (gang-action) haunts us, even as the old threat of collectivism (gang-action, also) haunted our parents.
There is a basic logic in the Tea Party stance – mine is mine, and you can’t demand it of me – you can ask, but you can’t demand it of me. They see society not as a relationship but as a war.
If the Republicans stink of greed, and the Lefties of old illusions and Stalin’s crimes, the Tea Party stinks of down-home bullying and swagger. Their tactics are purposefully violent, insulting and overbearing. Their campaign is driven, and replete with propaganda – and they have their own television network to propagate it. It’s this combination of bullying verbiage, scurrilous disinformation, and all those dollars and popular anger behind it that raises alarms in people like myself. A party of bullies – haven’t we seen that before, says the Left-winger in me? Anybody remember the rise of fascism? Anybody remember the Trail of Tears of Andrew Jackson’s day?
But all this proves is that I, myself, am a stranger to the basis of human interaction, which always comes down to violence. It was once a hope that men could be more than just violent drones, that there might really be such a thing as a good civilization. But this is and has been constantly belied, on all sides, by the Left, the Right, the Communists, the Islamofascists – everybody.
Do people have a “right” to live, and to live decently? And then – what does that mean? What is decent? And if people are not tested, if they are not morally destroyed and brought low in the course of their lives, how are they to emerge from their vulgar, crazy selves? But enduring such trials always calls up hatred and blaming – for it is always man’s nature to blame someone else for adversity.

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