Wednesday, June 22, 2016

With Justice and Liberty for Whom?

It seems our country is running out of something that has been dwindling for the past few decades: common decency.

There's talk of "making America great again", but I don't see any intelligent plans to do so. All I see is a dangerously evil amount of disrespect and an absence of true political debate. This country, the entire planet in fact, is in danger of imploding. Yet, all we hear is which American party is to blame. We're so damned self-involved we fail to even acknowledge our relatively young country is overrun by a bunch of juveniles. It's terrifying that the world's most powerful country has descended into a state where ignorance is celebrated, propaganda is glorified, and the simple truth is anybody's guess.

This vile reality is evident in the smallest town councils, across every state and up to the highest levels of our, I repeat (what is supposed to be) OUR federal government. A country founded on the principle that "all men (and women) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", is now mired in ridiculous debate over what this statement, written in the simplest and most lovely language imaginable, actually means.

Let's begin with all of us being "equal". Well gee, are we? Evidently not. If you're gay, some say you're not deserving. I don't care who you're having sex with or who you love. It's not my business. Neither are my sexual habits any of yours. Come from another country (like ALL of our ancestors, save for the natives we displaced), you need to just go back there. Good grief. What color is your skin? Is your God the same as mine, or whatever collective group of the moment says is the TRUE God? My God surely looks entirely different than yours, but does that mean mine is all wrong? It bears arguing that there could only be one true deity, yet there are at least seven billion (and counting) visions of Him or Her. People point to the one religious text they firmly believe is the "true word", yet the most popular were written long before the human brain could understand the most basic principles of our own universe. Science had not begun to explain how life even exists; the Earth was flat and water was just water rather than a combination of two hydrogen particles mixed with oxygen. So if we're "equal", why do we constantly belittle those whose faith differs from our own? Why would God make us so different if for no other reason than we learn from one another?

Our judicial system is unjustly weighted. The most severe punishment is meted upon those who have the least; those with obscene wealth truly get away with murder. Wages remain woefully behind each increase in our cost of living, yet we elect people whose main goal is to keep us wanting more. We vilify those who cannot "keep up". Instead of helping those with mental illness, we'd rather spend the money on military excursions into civilizations which have been at war for millennia; isn't it probable they will continue in spite of our interference? When our soldiers come home, there's no money to help them fight the demons our war-mongering has created. There always seems to be however, enough money for the rich to keep getting more while we make do with less. Yet when we argue for our own cause, we're blamed for creating "class warfare". Isn't this ironic?

In any economy, equality is non-existent. There are those who have, and others who do not. There is very little in between. We are worker bees who slave to serve whichever queen rules the hive. Our lives are a constant struggle, even though we convince ourselves "happiness" exists in precious slivers of time. This is not to say we cannot be happy, but that which is good and lovely seems in short supply for many people. Amazingly, if someone professes to be joyful, their reasons are scrutinized, criticized and often scorned. For this reason, I prefer to jealously guard my happiness. It is spontaneous, and I choose to savor it as that sip of a fine wine saved for a special occasion. Nobody can taste it but I; your taste buds aren't the same as mine, nor are your neural responses to pleasure. We're individually unique, save for our strangely similar DNA.

If my desire to be happy includes the ingestion of certain naturally-occurring substances, shouldn't it be my right to do so? If it doesn't interfere with the peaceful existence of another, put someone in danger, or alter the collective homeostasis, what business is it of (my) government to prohibit it? I believe in your right to believe as you do, without any interference or argument from me. Why then, is it so important to you that I conform to your belief system? Isn't this denying my freedom? Must we always believe we're right even though logic denies it?

Politics is a nasty game. I have dear friends with whom I heartily disagree politically. However, we have learned to respect our differences. Our similarities and also our differences work concurrently to draw us closer. Over the past decade especially, I've learned it's not important to be right; it's more so to be true. Sure, I've lost some "friends" over politics, but those who would dismiss me because we differ are still not invaluable, because they too have taught me lessons. My respect and fondness for those who love me in spite of myself is immeasurable. You who read this might not agree with every post, but your presence alone honors me.

Writing has enabled me to communicate with people worldwide. While certain differences are said to separate us, we share commonalities and aspire to find peace within. Underneath our skin, we're the same color. Within our souls lies the ability to love, or to hate. Philosophers have long argued origin and causality of these two similar emotions, yet the former seems less evident than the latter. Whenever I've felt so much anger toward another as to feel hatred, it has been too hard to live with. In every case, when I let go of the anger, a feeling of peace returns. In this moment, I've had to drop  the stone, for I too have been guilty of causing the rift; if I throw this stone in anger it could easily boomerang back towards me in atonement for my own sins.

Perhaps I'm still seeing life through the optimistic eyes of a child. Companionship and fun are infinitely more preferable to arguments and defensive behavior. I still believe we each have the power to be kind to one another. If I ever lose my love for people, this staple of my being, it would be said I died of self-induced pride.

Humanity's greatest moments were conceived of compromise and humility. If we don't reclaim these traits soon, our failures will overshadow our achievements. And that, my friends, would truly suck.


  1. I'm with you. The pursuit of happiness...not the pursuit of hatred and division.

  2. Beautifully written, Deacon. As a Canadian, I watch the unfolding US political scene from the sidelines with increasing degrees of shock and awe, and with a nagging fear that insanity is contagious. Maybe we should start building our own wall.

  3. Tri Met Operators Occupational Health and Safety Concerns at Facebook

  4. Great piece. Excellent analysis beautifully observed. As an overseas observer from across the pond, I see so many similarities to what we are experiencing here. The far right fascist knuckle draggers filled with hate are gathering pace, disenfranchised and created by a government who lack humanity and without an ounce of compassion. I fear that if we vote out of Europe today the far right will grow. Currently poorly organised but looking for a messiah. Five years down the line I fear anarchy.

  5. Some people are simply dingbats.