So the other night over dinner, my Dad abruptly asks, “Why aren’t you writing new articles for your blog?” It caught me off guard because I didn’t know that the old man even knew of the blogs existence, much less that he’d ever read it. And I didn’t really have an answer at the ready.
“Uhmmmmm… welll… ” I started hesitantly. “I’m just too pissed off generally speaking to write, lately.”
“Too pissed off?” he asked. “You’re a Darth. What does that even mean?”
“Dad I’m so angry that I don’t even have any humor left. I mean, usually I can at least pepper my articles with funny snark and sophomoric bits here and there that at least break the angst into tasty little bite-size pieces. But things have gone so far off the rails, my snark tank is empty and the angry adult in my head is shoving the sophomore’s face into the toilet.”
“Oh come on, Malthus,” he smiled. “It’s not that bad. Look, the sun still rises, the sky’s still blue and the world keeps on turning. Maybe you need to ignore Washington for a while.”
“Yea, I agree Gaia is fine. But Washington isn’t the issue. The focus of my concern is bigger: The destruction of the American psyche.”
“Oh, boy. Here we go…” he exhaled, already sounding a bit exasperated.
“OK, let me give you just one example of why America is becoming a psychotic nation: Planned Parenthood performs an abortion every 96 seconds, according to their own data from 2011. That’s 328,500 abortions per year and 900 every single day, OK? Meanwhile we have a shooting at an elementary school that kills nearly 30 one day. So our reaction as a nation? Those 30 lives are so important and their deaths such a tragedy that we should give up an inalienable, constitutional right. Meanwhile, the end of 900 unborn babies each day is not important and not a tragedy so nothing need be done because it is a woman’s personal health issue. That’s dissonant; it’s a schism. The numbers are a startling commentary on our sociopathic disconnection as a culture.”
“Sociopathic disconnection as a culture? Really?” he asked sarcastically.
“What I’m saying is, life is either important or it isn’t. If abortion numbers aren’t horrifying, why is the victim count from Sandy Hook? If Sandy hook is indeed tragic, how can we ignore the 900 babies lives lost every day? Because they’re only fetal tissue? Seriously? That’s a schism. And we’ve raised generations of Americans who have integrated this schism into their worldview without a second thought.”
“OK,” he replied. “So what?”
“So people don’t even think, Dad. There’s no critical evaluation, no questioning, nothing deeper than impulse. People aren’t even honest with themselves inside their own heads. People don’t want to face the tough questions or the uncomfortable analysis. They just want to live their lives and not have to worry about consequences. OK, let me try another example. When George Bush was President, the anti-war movement was in full swing and things got very ugly. Some on the right started to protest the tone of the demonstrations. Hillary Clinton famously said:”
“I’m sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration.”
“The left trashed Bush and anyone who dared support him. But elect Barack Obama and suddenly exercising the ‘right to disagree’ prompts calls for renewed civility or are self-evident proof of racism. It’s a schism. Yet nobody seems to think there’s any problem.”
“Oh, come on, be fair,” he poked with a wry smile.
“OK. Remember when Bush’s deficits were going to bankrupt our grandchildren? But here and now Obama dwarfs Bush’s deficit numbers and it’s no big deal because it’s “investment.” Schism. Bush’s 5.7% unemployment was unacceptable and worthy of impeachment. Yet Obama’s 7.8% unemployment is a sign of an improving economy. Schism. Bush was a war criminal for illegal invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. But Obama gets a free pass for continuing those wars while meanwhile Smart Diplomacy ignites Libya, Egypt, Syria, and the rest of the Middle East. Schism. Evil Guantanamo Bay HAD to be closed under Bush. But under Obama not so much. Schism. The same people telling me bans don’t work for drugs and abortion insist that a ban will work on firearms. Schism. The law for high-capacity magazines applies to me, but it doesn’t apply to David Gregory. Schism. Many of the people calling for gun bans to end violence are also calling for the shooting of NRA leaders and members. Schism.”
“OK, ok,” he laughed. “You sure let yourself get all lathered up, don’t you?”
“Heh, yea I suppose. But these bastards righteously lecture me about fairness. There’s only so much that good and reasonable people will take. I just can’t help feeling that we’re witnessing the beginning of the end. We’ve gone through the looking-glass and a rabbit just ran by muttering about being late. In the new reality, up is down and right is left. Now anything goes. Questions of right and wrong are no longer relevant. I used to poke at Obama making the comparison to Nero, fiddling as Rome burned. But now I realize that in the last days of Obama’s Rome, he isn’t playing alone. As he fiddles, a fifth of all Romans gladly join in and play along.”