Some of you may recall my essay entitled, “Hate & Discontent: The New American Paradigm”, published by www.amazines.com January 11, 2017. I offer the following as a “booster shot”. |
Remember the so-called Christian values of, say, the 1950s and before? Those ideals of yesteryear have been, since antiquity, the precept of Christian spirituality—but not necessarily of Christian churches. You know—that love your neighbor stuff? How about the Golden Rule: Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you? I believe that originated with the ancient Hebrews. Then there were the hippies of the late 1960s and 1970s: Make love, not war. They preached peace, love, and understanding; and some became what they called flower children. The stumbling block for Christians and hippies alike is that it’s hard for many to practice what they preach. It’s tough for all of us.
ASIDE: to be totally honest, a part of the hippies’ advocacy for love was to convince women they should look at sex the same way a man does. That’s right, ladies, it was a trick.
Unfortunately, our evolved “human condition” undermines all that “be nice” stuff. On the surface, it seems we can’t help ourselves; like it’s our basic nature. The lazy and politically-motivated claim the condition is hard-wired into our DNA; that we despise, mistrust, loathe, scorn, deride, and/or look down upon anyone who looks, acts, has a different value system, speaks a different language, and/or comes from a different caste than us. I wonder about the root cause. Fear? Self-preservation? Snobbery? Home training? Sloth? Ignorance? Certainly we don’t come into the world that way. At least I don’t think so. Hatred has to be taught either overtly and/or covertly. And, by the way, in spite of what guilty, white, so-called progressives preach, it’s NOT confined to one race. It’s a learned human condition, folks! Equal rights are not confined to one direction. If you want to claim the good, you must also acknowledge the bad.
Example: Years ago I emerged from the surf in Manhattan Beach, California, to observe three young black people—one male and two females—lounging nearby talking loudly and profanely, and eating. When they departed, leaving a large quantity of trash on the sand, they referred to me as a white-assed bastard—but not to my face. I overheard their Ebonics-type loud-talking, and saw them gesture toward me. My first reaction was to say something back, or to recruit some of my nearby surfing buddies to go rough them up a bit—kick sand in their faces. You see, that knee-jerk reaction is the “human condition”; to give tit for tat; to get even. In a mellow mood from wave riding, I had a rare moment of clarity. I realized that would make me as ignorant as them. I let it slide. They weren’t worth the trouble nor did they have any effect on my life.
So, is it a fate or a problem; this human condition? A fate is something one can do nothing about. Approaching nightfall is a fate; death is a fate; growing older is a fate. But behavior? I don’t think so. I think humans are conditioned to react positively or negatively based on environment, economic conditions, education (or lack of it), family values, mentors, etc., and I maintain knee-jerk negative behavior is a problem, not a fate. And problems can be solved if one is so inclined and willing.
If a problem stems from ignorance, it may be overcome with knowledge gained through education. Unfortunately, ignorance has an insidious cousin; viz., “learned ignorance”. That is, perfectly reasonable, educated people choose to remain ignorant if doing so suits their purposes. An Austrian physician named Ignaz Semmelweis found that out. In a day when 30-percent of women died of infection during birth, almost none died in Semmelweis’s care. He read about Lister’s germ theory, and washed his hands in a chlorinated lime solution before examining patients. In those days, a physician’s worth was largely determined from how dirty his smock was from wiping his hands on it—dirtier smock = more patients. Mainstream physicians were not about to give up such a badge of success and prestige. In spite of facts to the contrary, they chose to remain ignorant. And more women died. (Couldn’t they have wiped their hands, and then washed them? I guess not. What they did do was kick out Semmelweis for having such a crackpot theory.)
How about what’s happened across the US since the 2016 national election? Hatred seems to have ramped up by an order of magnitude especially from sore-loser supporters of the party that lost. This crap is just going too far. One fellow claims they’re just giving Trump what Obama received when he held office. I say, except for died-in-the-wool party affiliates, horse manure (a colorful term from my Dad’s generation) to that. Hollywood and the media fawned all over BO even though unemployment rose to high levels under his administration, and the financial markets floundered. Bush’s fault, they said. Led by his pastor, the US-is-evil phenomenon also ramped up. Then there was Benghazi, selling arms to Mexican drug lords, $400 million in cash shipped off to Iran, selling 20-percent of our uranium to Russia; the beat went on. No oversight. No carping and complaining from the press. I read today that the Democrats aren’t sure that a white male, like Biden or Sanders, should lead their party. Isn’t that reverse racism and/or discrimination? What happened to the best person for the job no matter what gender or color? Oh no, they’ve become politically-correct looney tunes. As an exiled Democrat, I say to those of you like me: Let’s get rid of those insipid, arrogant clowns. I am not giving the GOP a pass. They wander around in a drooling daze stepping on their own Johnsons, not having a clue what their holy ground is or should be. They say thing like, “We’ll just pass Obamacare and let it fail.” Where is ANY intellectual honesty in that?
Most Democrats and Republicans aren’t nuts. They’re perfectly good people. But the stuff going on, if it’s deliberate (and I believe it is)—it’s a threat to everyone. Daily, the leftwing bomb-throwers hurl words like racist, antifeminist, idiot, Islamophobia, at anyone with whom they disagree. It makes no difference how hard one has worked, what one has done, what one’s character is like; it doesn’t even matter if there’s proof—once it gets out to the media, they repeat it endlessly, and there is no calling it back. For example, you could have the Pope go on television tomorrow and swear he has absolute proof Judge Kavanaugh is totally innocent, and 100 bloggers would be swearing at him within 10 minutes and CNN would be calling him a liar. That, my friends, is learned ignorance. My position is that the media is dangerous, immoral, and antidemocratic. Sadly, they don’t recognize it in themselves. I consider them criminals in the classic definition of that word.
The media even has us referring to congress as “leaders” rather than “representatives”. And what about politicians? Something I see in the majority of them is what psychologists call narcissistic personality disorder. Trump has it, and Hillary Clinton has it in spades. Characteristics include: 1) excessive feelings of self-importance, 2) reacts to criticism with rage, 3) takes advantage of other people, 4) disregards feelings of others, and 5) preoccupied with fantasies of success and power.
My aspiration, which I know is unlikely, is for our country to return to a kinder time when we substituted team work for division. I do not believe we were created to hate, but to help and care for each other; to reach out and use our talents and gifts to improve—not teardown—society.
Wouldn’t that be something?
By Gene Myers, self-proclaimed sage of the desert.
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