Wednesday, August 23, 2017 1:25 AM
Time To Start Shouting Back (2017Aug23)
We need to come together and work as one to defeat the forces arrayed against our future—and people are usually rallied by the naming of an enemy—by putting a face to our misery and fear. Politics just is that way—no matter whether it’s an election, a tax, a new law, or a war—you have to name the devil if you want everyone to join you in condemning it.
It doesn’t have to be one person—you can point the finger at a group—that’s actually more effective, because it makes a scarier image in our heads. Or you can name an idea or a sub-culture as the dangerous menace—those are handy because one can twist them to include anyone who annoys you. But I have never held by that—I have always seen individuals as more or less good, and without any great deal of time being spent on the judgement.
People talk about the importance of first impressions—and then mention a hat or a pair of shoes—which I think misses the point. When I first meet someone, we look each other in the eye, we exchange names—speak to each other, probably even shake hands. While we do this, we take in the totality of each other—height, build, posture, clothing, body language, voice, vocabulary, and on ad infinitum. I believe you can meet someone, then spend a few years with them, and not know much more about their character after those few years than you did at that first meeting.
Thus I snap to quick judgements about people’s characters—not that they are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ people, necessarily—I don’t mean to sound crazy. I’m talking about the things that stand out on a person—the things that can’t be faked or hidden by any average person. Studious people present as studious—irritable crab-apples present as irritable crab-apples—naïfs cannot be mistaken for sophisticates, nor dull folk for wits. The vast majority of people are not even a little mysterious.
It’s a two-way street, too—other people have sized me up in the blink of an eye, all my life—and why not? I talk and act exactly like I am—my only problem is most people disapprove of what they see in me—a bookworm, who’s quick to criticize others and slow to examine himself. Hey, no one’s perfect—and my book-larnin’ does come in handy, every now and then. The truth is, I dislike being disliked for being an egghead—it’s just sour grapes—it’s not like I was born to love reading and learning just to show up other people.
But enough about me. We were discussing naming, as an enemy, a public figure or a group or a sub-culture. And I was trying to say that I think such primitive reactionism is beneath us—we should be able to see people as the individuals each one of us clearly are.
There are not more good people than bad in the world, there are not more smart people than ignorant people—there just aren’t. We have always gotten by with having enough good, smart people to talk the rest of us into doing the right thing—and, up until now, our President was hoped to be one of those people.
And our dark-side president is not a fatal blow—just a fever symptom caused by a lot of dark-side, doggedly ignorant supporters voting for him, and a dark-side, win-‘though-the-country-fails Congress that still supports this human insult of a president. Evil has been shouting at the top of its lungs since the 80’s in this country—while good people have quietly tried to maintain peace and stability.
Well, peace and stability are long gone—it’s time for good people to do a little shouting. If your dander isn’t already up yet, get’er revved—the most important lesson of Hitler was that there’s a time for people of good will to get angry, and to act—and the sooner it comes, the less blood will spill. Waiting until it’s a World-War-sized problem is just bad business.
I have a dream—a dream that one day, Trump will hold a rally—and thousands and thousands of people will come—but not one of them will go inside the venue, they’ll just be picketing outside. I just love the image of that blowhard trying to bullshit an empty stadium.