Yesterday, I wrote a little blurb about taking a step back for a minute in the wake of all the recent shootings. I spoke about letting reason overcome our fears and that there is room for compromise and discussion. Yet as I typed those words, and even hoped for their fruition, I realized that we probably won’t allow ourselves the opportunity to discuss and listen and come to a middle ground, we’ll most likely continue down this path of shouting matches and shooting matches until we destroy one another. We’ve been rendered impotent you see, unable to discuss and engage, unwilling to lay down perceived notions and take up another for even a second. As a democracy we are currently unreachable and unteachable. I hold the Koch brothers, our current President, and our 111th and 112th congress entirely, utterly responsible.
A nation is only as good as its leaders and our leaders have robbed us of the ability to have any sort of national discussion about anything. Consider Mitch McConnell’s message that we need to make sure President Obama is only a one term president (I know there are arguments over the ‘context’ of this comment, I’m not buying them. Actions, in this case, back up the literal interpretation of the statement, I’m inclined to believe that he meant exactly what he said.) There’s been time after time the past eight years where congress has not just failed to communicate, they’ve refused to communicate altogether. President Obama’s unwillingness to open up the TransPacificPartnership for examination makes an absolute mockery of the democratic process for which our soldiers ostensibly fight.
During the writing of the Magna Carta, in the aftermath of the storming of the Bastille, when the forefathers of the United States meted out a document intent on keeping a balance of power and enabling democracy – compromise, not stubbornness, led to growth and vitality. Enlightenment, openness, and opportunity guided the ideals and produced healthy nations that went on to become world leaders. To the shame of our democracy, we currently witness political leaders on both sides of the aisle who blatantly and very publicly refuse to bear the burden of their democratic duty and moral responsibility of engaging in public discourse. They are goaded thusly, thanks to secret meetings comprised of Wall Street’s elite of the elite where strategy sessions for the best way to gain and keep control of the government include this very notion of an uncooperative spirit. (See Jane Mayer’s most recent work, “Dark Money,” Doubleday, New York, 2016). The results have manifested themselves in the form of a stagnate economy and an obviously broken society.
So while I wrote with hope and an admittedly idealistic tone, I lamented with each letter and form of punctuation. I fear we are too far gone. I am deeply concerned that we’ve already dug our heals in considering the actions of our leaders who have proven to possess an inordinate inability to engage and compromise, and accounting for the echoing sentiments of the ‘us vs. them’ narrative ubiquitous on social media the past several hours.
Today, I write about a new hope. I hope that I am mistaken about my conclusion. I hope we haven’t crossed some point of no return and we can muster the strength to empathize. But if the last decade of leadership and our own reaction to these most recent events is any indication, we are now an impotent nation with regards to conversation and meeting in the middle, and my hope is in vain.
May I be proven wrong….