More American lives were lost in our civil war than any other war in history! It is unsettling to consider the nature of man that drives such a level of destruction. Our ancestors were aligned into two groups so opposite and angry they lined up and slaughtered each other. Looking at the current polarization in America, we have reason for concern and should contemplate several things that, if fixed, could prevent a melt-down. Media bias, complete with lies and omissions has been identified as a potential culprit! It is too easy for malicious propaganda to generate bitter anger. We bet everything on good voter discernment which is under the “GIGO” principle (Garbage In, Garbage Out). It is increasingly difficult to know what to believe. Much of what we hear is exactly opposite of other things we hear. There is an increasingly marked divide between those who take in a steady diet of mainstream news and those who are paying attention to many high-quality conservative news sources. The consequence of deductions being made from false information is people hating the wrong people for the wrong reasons. This insanity has not destroyed us yet because the majority of Americans still evidently know and generally embrace truth — the foundation of the rule of ultimate law— which the founders called “nature’s law”. We must, however remember, two murderous “sides” can congeal. Polarization is deceptively attractive and natural because group identity provides a false sense of security and righteousness to its members. Blind loyalty to either side can unwittingly grant license to hate, while nominally presenting an outward pretense of inclusiveness, love and equality. It is a critical consideration to decide when and where a line should be drawn between political groups.
In the civil war, the two sides were called the “North” and the “South”. Passionate division came from disagreement on the issues of slavery and federalism. Similar passions are still with us! The same issues are still with us… as well as defunding police, abortion, government overspending, the validity of Constitutional values, the Trump re-election… Fortunately, contrary to the plethora of news report frenzy, we do not yet have two sides in a no-holds-barred brawl.
If Americans abandon “E Pluribus Unum” (the wonder of “Out of Many, One”) we have reason to fear utter chaos. Therefore, do not hesitate to be unapologetically patriotic. America is built on values honoring fundamental human dignity… freedom before one God Almighty… one “Supreme Judge”! While promoting American values, however, be thoughtful when labeling your fellow-Americans who believe or promote lies. Be thoughtful, but, do not give an inch! If “We the People” are confident in our basic values, we allow protection for liars by ensuring freedom of speech to counter them. America bets everything on the electorate recognizing and embracing truth. Too many, especially in the media, appear to be endorsing lies by pretending to have false respect for the tolerance of fools! It is okay to be offensive (intolerant) when the offense is caused by standing up for truth. Don’t forget, we each have a built in “knowledge of good and evil”. It is inevitable that we live our lives perpetually testing and analyzing what is good and what is bad.
The civil war killed off 2.5% of our population. To repeat history, this death rate would translate into us killing 7,000,000 Americans! When using worldwide, grossly inflated predictions and reports, the COVID-19 pandemic fades to insignificance by about 14 times! If you multiply every death report you hear by 14, the impact is staggering. You may think another Civil War could never happen, but current media reports of widespread rioting and burning seem to imply predominant unrest, frustration, and anger. If the media polarizes people into coalitions (two sides) with too many frustrated identity groups who conclude it is “My way or die…”, we are in danger of something far more sinister than COVID-19.
A friend sent me a YouTube recording of an old favorite song that elicited an unexpected visceral patriotic reaction. Merle Haggart in 1969 – It made me consider the significance of the “Fightin’ Side of Me”. At what point is it valid to start really swinging our fists?
I hear people talkin’ bad about the way they have to
Live here in this country
Harpin’ on the wars we fight, gripin’ ’bout the way
Things ought to be
I don’t mind them switchin’ sides and standin’ up for
Things they believe in
(But) When they’re runnin’ down our country, man, they’re
Walkin’ on the fightin’ side of me
I read about some squirrely guy who claims that he just
Don’t believe in fightin’
And I wonder just how long the rest of us can count on Bein’ free.
They love our milk and honey, but they preach about some
Other way of livin’
When they’re runnin’ down our country, man, they’re
Walkin’ on the fightin’ side of me…
This was also submitted as an article to The People’s Paper.