License To Hate

 

We have become such an “in-the-moment” society always searching for that singular rush, craving that fleeting buzz of pleasure. The concepts of forethought, responsibility, and repercussions in relation to our actions are nearly non-existent and are at best viewed as arcane, irrelevant in a licentious world. In a pleasure oriented society, the goal becomes feelings.

Each bump against convention is replaced with a deepening revolt against the norm as the heady flush of rebellion is dulled in turn demanding some new outrage to fulfill the ever burgeoning need to feel. Guilty pleasures are no longer enough so tantrums become the vehicle to supply the sensory demands. Violence is mixed in to create the greater escalation until finally layered with the ultimate payback. When the moment or even moments pass in the quest to feel, the king of the mountain surveys the wreckage upon which he or she stands  only to once again face the expanse of emptiness.

In times past, this pattern of self-destruction would be attributed to youthful waywardness and/or a individual’s propensity to learn things the hard way. Sadly now it seems the insatiable quest for feelings has rubbed the natural sensors so raw that we are dulled witless beyond even the natural cycle of lessons learned. Like the punch drunk pugilist, we are simply flailing against shadows and blurred images as the brain’s cognitive abilities shut down and the boxer falls unconscious.

No where was this better exemplified than the outrageous behavior at the campus of U.C. Berkeley. In an insane battle of anarchist versus anarchists, the most violent prevailed as the cowards in leadership of the school quailed in the face toddler-like tantrums. The First Amendment suffered another loss.

Across the broad spectrum of leadership in our Nation, from parenting to government, leadership has failed its society by accepting the childish excuse of “He made me do it!” as reasons for pathetic behavior instead of responding with the time proven principle of “I’m not dealing with him, I’m dealing with you!”, which forces said childish perpetrator to embrace the edicts of personal responsibility. The First Amendment allows for Milo Yiannopoulos’ despicable speech. It affords for students to protest his speech. It does not allow for violence to shut down the aforementioned despicable speech.

I don’t know much about Milo and this new alt-right, which is hijacking the conservative movement. What little I have read is repulsive to me and violates my core beliefs. But free speech is not free unless it is free for everyone and if my beliefs are so fragile that I cannot hear other beliefs contrary to mine, then my beliefs are fragile indeed and not worthy of my trust.

I watch now the vicious swing of the political pendulum and the punch back that is becoming the norm wondering if it will ever stop. Both sides keep pointing and saying “They made me do it!” I agree with Senator Marco Rubio when he warns we are flirting with a complete destruction of the treasure of civil debate. We cannot critique the President from either side, in the last eight years or with this new President, without a barrage of attacks and hate.

Yes, it is true that for eight years the left protected the President with blind loyalty and fealty that was appalling at best. Yet now it seems the strike back for this President is the same fealty that precludes him from any criticism without backlash. The mistakes of the last regime are not a license for the hate and retribution that I see from so-called conservatives as of late. If we truly want to make America Great Again we must remember that decency and civility was once the hallmark of this great Nation and avoid the shortsighted desire for the fleeting pleasure of payback, power, and to be king of the mountain.1

So You’re Scared Now?

 

The recent rants of fear and even some hysteria coming from the left over the inevitable Trump presidency has many of my conservative colleagues gloating in the anticipation of at least four years of retaliation. I cannot embrace this new normal as the swings of the political pendulum are becoming dizzying at best. This is not what our Forefathers envisioned.

While I do not concur with Diane Feinstien that the whole world is living in fear at the looming shadow of a Donald Trump, I should remind said conservative colleagues that it was not but a few years ago that we were fearing and prognosticating the demise of this Republic at the hands of one Barack Obama. It didn’t happen. Though shaken and weakened, the Republic has survived. (At this point I’d like to ask those same said conservative colleagues if they could kindly reexamine the title “conservative” they have affixed to themselves and help me understand what their new version is because there is a whole lot of stuff now that is “OK” for “conservatives” to advocate for that was not “OK” for conservatives to advocate for before that flaming display of idiocy, otherwise known as the Republican Presidential Primary, occurred this past summer.)

So whatever tired, tortured, melded, manipulated, rehashed, regurgitated version of conservative you are, we need to remember that a large portion of the nation is feeling the same fears we felt for 8 years. Yes, even some of us conservatives, pre-primary conservatives, have very real concerns with this President. It’s true that thus far, with the exception of Rex Tillerson, I have been thankful for the sake of my nation to be proven wrong with Trump’s cabinet picks. But with the handful of pre-primary conservatives left who have concerns about Donald Trump’s ego and overreaches combined with the litany of liberals who are hand wringing distraught with visions of dire calamities with the second coming of Hitler, it’s safe to say that a large portion of the American populace are at best suspicious of the incoming administration.

So to my liberal friends I ask this question: Have we come to a common place of understanding? Do we understand now why the Constitution was intended to be a document of “negative liberties” as President Obama so famously accused? Can we see now why the Executive Branch should never wield unchecked power and ignore Congress as it has under both Presidents Obama and also Bush?

With our Republic’s system of checks and balances in place and obeyed, no people’s should need fear the election of a President. No persons should fear that the President will use the power of his office to target them based on their faith, ideology, ethnicity, or political persuasion. If a dressmaker refuses to design or sell the First Lady a dress or a baker refuses to bake a cake because it violates their personal beliefs, let them face the repercussions of their decision on the market where they compete, not underneath the whip of government.

Are we all now starting to see why our Founders believed so strongly in severely limiting the power and scope of government? Can we all now see the value of a government that fears the people rather than a people that fear their government? Can we all now see, both conservative and liberal, that looking for a one man solution, a king, is lazy dangerous solution?

It is time for the pendulum to stop its swing before we truly do the damage we fear to the Republic. Our Founders did not fear so much the ideology of those in the Presidency as much as they feared a President who would not honor the restraints of the Constitution. President Trump and the Republicans have this opportunity to restore the Constitutional system of Checks and Balances to this Republic, which it desperately needs. If these so-called conservatives do not work to stop the pendulum’s swing, then shame on them, for history will recall their names as the catalyst to the demise of this great Republic when the Nation called to them for peace and they heeded it not.