Moves and Counter-moves

Race riots, constitutional crisis, and a Cosby scandal; news junkies certainly have had plenty to read the last couple of weeks. Each story seems to be more outrageous than the one before, and it’s likely that this is just the tip of the iceberg. The moves and counter-moves in culture and politics have been very violent of late. Historically when this happens things must get a lot worse before they get better. It’s always darkest before the dawn, and we’re just witnessing the evening hours of this humankind super cycle. The dark ages started in much the same way. Humanity is always at its peak of knowledge before it plunges back into the dark.
Audacity is a word that got thrown around quite a bit a few years ago thanks to somebody’s book. Plenty of people have been taking audacious action lately, but brazen is the word that might describe it better. Impudence and brazenness are what we see more than anything else these days in politics and pop culture. It doesn’t matter which side you take, respect is in short supply everywhere. A certain Secretary of State was quoted a while back speaking about foreign policy and military intervention. “We came, we saw, he died,” she said of a foreign dictator. That has to be one of the most brazenly unthinking remarks I’ve heard from a national leader ever. Julius Caesar doesn’t represent the type of leader I want for my Republic. His appearance in history marked the end of the Roman Republic and the birth of the Empire. It’s ironic to see a liberal icon like Hillary Clinton quoting Caesar and espousing American Imperialism. For years I’ve listened to her people talk about the invalidity of foreign wars. Now that the war machine is in their control, there are all sorts of hotspots where they’d like to go, and see, and conquer. Veni, vidi, vici.
“You’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists,” is another quote that makes a person feel uneasy. When that one was uttered many years ago, it was at a time when people were scared and needed reassurance. It only took about a decade to get from that type of absolute statement to veni, vidi, vici. It makes you wonder what is coming in the next decade. You couldn’t pick two politicians that have opposed each other more than W. and Hillary, but it certainly seems that they’re teammates more than enemies. They’re from the same generation after all. It’s a bit cliché to blame the generation ahead of you for making a mess of the world, but it’s easy to see why people have always done it. Somebody made the mess. Mankind has always had a way of blaming somebody else for their problems. It usually takes a lifetime to seize the reins of power, so the long toothed are the easiest ones to blame for whatever is going wrong in the world. Right now, the people in power were part of the 1960’s counter-culture. This makes them particularly suspect. For the first time in American history we have unabashed dope fiends and free lovers in charge, and we are reaping the whirlwind. Who knows where their experimentation will end, but it should be an exciting ride.
These audacious radicals that currently steer policy didn’t seize power in a vacuum. The people who know better have allowed it to happen due to our apathy and indifference. We got comfortable in our lives, turned on the TV, wasted time on the internet and tuned out on the things that matter. That’s how it’s always been. If mankind isn’t singularly focused on survival we get into all sorts of trouble. I’ve been thinking a lot about Dickens this week. It certainly is the best of times and the worst of times. Even some of the poorest among us in this country enjoy the highest standard of living that humankind has ever known. Every convenience is at our fingertips. Survival is almost assured for those who want to stick around. With all that going for us, we’re surrounded by depravity, war, and a culture that is obsessed with death. It is the best time to be alive in history, and yet most of the time we’re planning a funeral for the human race.
As the holidays bear down on us this year, I am thankful to be alive and well. I am blessed with a wonderful family, a thriving business, and more friends than I ever hoped to have. I hope that you’ll take time in the coming weeks to celebrate the life that you have. Turn off the news and focus on the good things for a few minutes. The wolf is always at the door. Keep an eye on him, but don’t invite him into your house (or your heart). Remember the adage, “This too shall pass.”

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