Since ancient times to the middle ages to now, leaders of all kinds–be they Chieftains, Kings, Queens or Presidents–made the choices and maneuvers that would get them into power and or to keep them in power. What motivated these leaders and their people was perhaps a need, such as famine, attack or expansion for power and growth and, of course, religious zeal. There were leaders who rose to power mainly from proven worth or by the virtues of being a part of a royal family, and some leaders just took power through cleverness and growing support that rose from those that admire boldness in whatever form.
Now here we are. I have been dealing with a busy life while musing on our state of affairs as a nation. Much is being said and many are showing their anger and fear on the streets of our nation with loud cries of how could this have happened while the media is proposing regarding the how’s and whys, Trump has won. Contemplating all this my mind has wandered to another course.
Many of us have rolled our eyes at the deep emotions that have and are playing out on our TV sets. Anger, disgust, fear, cynicism, to raving rage. Why was and is this? I think the reasons for this are much more complex then what people realize. We as people are affected and motivated by many things, some of which are oblivious. Yet we are also moved and motivated by deep, even hidden, emotions and desires. Have we not been told and taught all our lives what our nation under God is supposed to stand for. Have we not been taught by all of our faiths to end suffering, to have compassion to aid the oppressed? So, here we are every day watching on the TV and all other media–even our phones!–the mass of human suffering while here we are, in America with our stores of all kinds and our gardens and for the poorest among us on various programs to assist them. It is still not a perfect system, but it’s a far cry from dying in the sea, in the desert while fleeing those that wish one dead because of one’s beliefs or because one is just in the way. Whole countries with their history and people blown and scattered. Whole nations being disrupted. The suffering of people held under siege or huddled in refuge camps or at worse children, kidnapped, raped, tortured and families driven to suicide. Sure, people say, “We cannot have this happen here! Not on my soil! Not to my children!” Yet underneath this natural reaction there is all that we have been taught since we were small children, that we are a nation of hope, that we aspire to higher values, and that we are obligated by the words of Jesus to help those that have so much less than we have. So what do Americans do, as a general rule? Some get down to business and get their hands dirty, making whatever sacrifice needed to correct the situation and protect our nation. Our reaction to WWII was a good example of this. The other way we have of dealing with this is to throw a lot of money at the problem in order to make it go away–at least hide it away. I think that many Americans are sick of seeing blown up children, starving elderly, tortured people, and certainly people being put to death in unspeakable ways. There was a national knee jerk reaction. We wanted to be the bigger bully who either had or knew where to put the money that will make it all shut up and go away. Trump said that he filled the bill and many believed him. So now what? We better take some time to think carefully, since going off half cocked at each other won’t solve anything. Having the equivalent of a national saloon bar brawl might seem a like good thing and even feel good in the short run but in the long run it will lead to nothing. Use your head and heart, America! All is not lost yet!