Opinion/Editorial

CAN YOU SEE THE SHIPS?

Since Muller made his short speech, I’ve sat with three attorneys over the course of the last week.  I was flabbergasted to discover that all three, deep political believers, could not admit that Muller deliberately, and with premeditation, lied to the entire American public.  He said that no sitting president could be indicted while in office because such action was prevented by the constitution.  Blatant lie! It’s not.  Not one of these three highly regarded and vaunted attorneys would admit that Muller lied.  I am not an attorney, but I can read and, I was quite harsh in my criticism of them for being unwilling to admit the man had lied.  But, in retrospect, I am reminded of stories about the first settlers to come across from Europe to land on American shores.  The native Indians had never seen giant sailing ships before. The ships sailed in and report after report of those coming ashore gave accounts of how the Indians had vision problems because they could quite literally not see the ships at all.  As it turns out, those reports were likely true, but physically the Indians could actually see fine.  It was their belief system that could not accommodate something so unacceptable and different, no matter how real it might be to everyone else.

You may think the current political mess is an angry seething hotbed of discontented vipers hissing at one another across the land? Think again. These are still peaceful times. Let me take you back a bit before the Civil War. The president was Franklin Pierce. He was swept in because the majority of the nation did not want to see slavery gone. That’s right. Not what you thought. He got the Fugitive Slave Act passed that gave slave owners the basic right to kill or torture slaves if they tried or did escape, and made it criminal to help any escaped slave anywhere across the nation. Anti-slavery abolitionists went crazy. The nation coiled and writhed until an insurgency began. That insurgency was judged to be dangerous, violent and a threat to the nation. Many people grew fearful. Out went Franklin and in came the period’s version of Joe Biden to quiet things down. His name was Buchanan. “Joe” pandered, talked quietly and, of course, could really do nothing about the slavery issue. And the insurgency grew to become known as the Civil War, still the most damaging single engagement the U.S. has ever been involved with. And that war still quietly rages on the underground. Trump is nothing. Stop worrying. He thinks impeachment has something to do with a southern fruit and so should you. It’s the beliefs of the national majority that are dangerous if that’s how you choose to see the potential result.

The Franklin Pierce movement, pitting self-defined humanity against whatever you want to call those not so fortunate (be they slaves, foreigners, immigrants, evil-doers, Muslims or whatever), is right with us now, and insurgency can easily be the result. Try to think about what you yourself really believe about others, especially when it comes to grouping them in convenient parcels of ill-defined humanity. Trump is not dangerous. You are dangerous, although you don’t see yourself as being dangerous to you…as that part of it has to be frog-marched to your door, and now it’s already a bit late. Now, whatever beliefs you have arrived at in the contemplation of self I’ve asked you to perform…go get a copy of the Bible and read the New Testament. It’s all in there, about how to treat your fellow men and women. It’s not like it’s hard to figure out. We did not build everything or become a part of the success of that building of what we call civilization, by killing one another. We did it by pulling together. The philosophy expounded in that simple, but oh so complex, document called the Bible, is a wonderful template to follow if you are stuck.

What is allowing a return to those wild days of President Pierce and Buchanan is happening because of the current culture’s inability to continue, sharpen and hone its belief systems.  The country dropped its standards.  That’s what happened and, although the effect is pretty apparent and devastating, it’s almost impossible to look backward, because of communications and economic dithering fog, to figure out why the hell what happened really happened. Children across America do not read much anymore. Not real reading. They do the texting, the gaming, and the graphics short crap, jumping here and there across the vast spectrum of electronic mediums. But it’s not that the millenniums, X’ers and younger don’t read, and I’m blaming them.  Nope.

The country allowed its standards of performance to be dumped in the toilet. Kids were not given the choice to read or not when I was young. If the Catholic Nuns did not beat the crap out of me my parents did. You did what you were required to do. You not only did it at school but when you came home you performed there too. Chores were hard, inspected and all over the place. Dishes, clean-up, yard work, car washing, metal polishing, even sprinkling and ironing and more. I worked every Saturday morning at home from early in the morning until mid-afternoon. My work was inspected. I was not released to finish my homework and have a weekend until that was done. Then my homework was inspected.  What the hell is going on today?  Kids sitting around and playing on their electronic machines, totally unsupervised or inspected? Fully half of the internet porn is watched by boys under sixteen years old. Those boys would have been caught (in fact, never allowed), their instruments destroyed and their bodies were beaten to a pulp back in the day…and that would be by every authority figure around, school, church, and family.  And it’s not even about morality issues. It’s about the use of time and readiness for life training. Asians came to America, their families holding them to these standards. They’ve triumphed because of that.

How many ‘regular’ looking American kids, of any color, did you see in that eight-way tie for the spelling championship this year? Do the math.  Unless the nation and culture are willing to dig in, admit what happened, and then take half the damned stupid defense budget and commit to education, discipline and training of our kids then the rest of this stuff matters little. Yes, our infrastructure is a mess…because we’ve let our kids become a mess, not because we’ve let the roads and bridges and more go.  The settlers are coming because we are here waiting. We cannot see their ships because we lost our belief systems that would not only allow for seeing them but demand it.

~James Strauss

 

 

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