I think it possible, perhaps even inevitable, that I've joined the ranks of the disenchanted. There's something so alien about today, and tomorrow doesn't promise any remedy, as it seems yesterday is always catching up to us and laying traps on the road ahead. I don't understand what's happened to people, and knowing full well that this climate of political rancor is nothing new in our young democracy does nothing to assuage the absolute screaming terror that what we see in the now is only a preview of what my kids will face in the future. We have to stop pretending that disagreement deserves demonization. We have to believe in the fundamental principle of universal humanity. We can't continue to block out dissent at the cost of democracy. We've got to start listening to each other.
It's fashionable to make statement of absolute opposition. We're all against something, pollution, entitlements, corporate welfare, government intrusion. We're against the things that the other guy isn't against, and I guess that forms some sort of pseudo-dialogue that performs the function once fulfilled by honest debate. Believe it or not, politicians were once for things, not just against them.
In a Jefferson Day speech he was do deliver on the day of his death, FDR wrote, "If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships - the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace." It seems that there's a new paradigm forming, one that's as old as America, but secured in new ways only made possible with the pervasiveness of media undreamt of by our founders. Where once men could at least attempt to form their opinions with some measure of independence, we have a juggernaut, a staggering monster, half opinion, half fact, which conspires to rush decisions, forcing hasty alliance with dimly perceived movements that fly from crisis to crisis, until a person might be forgiven for believing his President were a fascist, that Islam and terrorism are synonyms, that a half-term governor from a state with less people than caribou might very well have abandoned that sinecure to do the people's work. The hate and the violence and the drooling stupidity, that's not new. But the coordination, the unchecked influence of a free press tethered to corporate interests only barely allied to anything remotely related to mom and apple pie, that's a clear and present danger to our republic that we can neither long ignore, nor endure. We've got to start listening to each other. We've got to learn to live together. This can't keep up. Not for long.