This is Philip Wyeth. Since the election I’ve been thinking that we’ve officially ended the 2015-18 phase—a time which I would say was characterized by madness—and now we’ve landed someplace else.
What will define it, I do not know. But I’d like to propose that it could be a time of forgiveness. In my heart I’m not sure we can expect such an outcome—and even if I’m as guilty as everyone else in frothing at the mouth from time to time—I’m writing this monologue in the good faith that many of us are not ready to throw in the towel regarding civility.
Because while I certainly am interested in how some of the macro political trends will play out—such as identity politics being used as a wedge within the Democrat party’s intergenerational and interracial struggles—I feel the need to parlay my sense of powerlessness and overwhelm into making small moves within the sphere of my own life.
For all of us, there are only so many belief-affirming anecdotes or exasperating news stories before the brain overheats. Maybe consuming information in the internet age mirrors the parable “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” And in our case, the result is not physical death but mental paralysis, rage, and despair.
So the thrust of my argument here is that, after so many of us have done or said many ridiculous things over the past few years, maybe we’re due for some sort of spiritual jubilee. Pressing a hard stop right now, before things really get out of hand.
Because a deep malaise has been growing in us for a long time, and if it boils over beyond the occasional street rumble or lone-nut shooting into open combat that doesn’t stop—we may lose our entire country.
I’ve seen people on opposite sides of the political spectrum make righteous claims about the slaughters that could unfold. Hell, I’ve speculated about a second civil war on this channel before. Maybe such a clash is inevitable due to history’s cyclical nature, but as we recently marked the hundredth anniversary of the World War One armistice, we really should absorb how war is less about a soldier’s battlefield glory, and more about destroying the existing order and demoralizing everyday people.
The rhetoric I’ve seen on both sides is getting sharper, less nuanced—pushing us closer to the precipice of a major historical event we might all regret. So I ask, can we turn our frustration into forgiveness? Is there even any common ground left to stand on? Because spending another two years before the next election lobbing talking points back and forth at each other is no way to live.
I’d rather turn off the phone altogether and reconnect with my friends and family on however basic a level that’s required. Craft beer, sports, hiking, music—whatever restores a sense of enjoyment to life, so that we’re not at each other’s throats trying to impose our political will.
That’s about all I’ve got on this concept right now. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section. Are we too far gone? Is it a case of, “I will, but you go first”? Or could we perhaps use this tool of the internet to not destroy us, but actually do what it was touted as being capable of—bridging the divide between miscommunication and misunderstanding?
Thanks for listening. My third novel “Chasing the Best Days” will be free to download on Amazon this Wednesday through Friday over the holiday. Link is in the description box. I hope everybody has a safe and fun Thanksgiving.
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Video was originally uploaded on November 18, 2018.