I never get into politics, I find it to be a messy subject that only leads to heated rhetoric, especially if you happen to disagree with another’s opinion. Lately, however, I’ve been distressed by the tone of this political season. Demagoguery, finger pointing and just plain misrepresentation of facts has me and many others wondering what is truly going on. It’s not like I believe in the mythical, “honest politician” but in previous election years, even in the heat of the primary season, it seems that calmer voices are heard, deals made and the Republic continues its long history of a non-violent passing of leadership. I may not agree with the choice but that doesn’t mean that I will join some fringe group bent on bringing down this spawn of Satan, just because they don’t espouse my own particular view. Yet, this year there seems to be so much anger and I’m trying to wrap my head around what is going on. I mean, as a priest in the Episcopal Church, serving a parish in a rather progressive state, does require me to think theologically and be thoughtful in how I present my ideas without alienating folks. Heated discussions tend to devolve quickly into hurt feelings and heightened anxieties, all of which just gives me a bad case of heartburn. So here I am trying, in the way I do to figure stuff out, is write about what I see and then put it out there.
My confusion with all of the talk is when did we, and I mean here we Americans, get so weak as a nation? Are we no longer a superpower? Has the mouse actually roared and found us wanting? At one time we had an arsenal fully equipped to take out most of the planet on just the first pass, then do it all over again to ensure mutual destruction, meaning that “you ain’t getting to us sucker.” Watching the evening newscast and seeing a couple of our fighters hitting some targets over there in whatever-stan and leaving little or no trace behind does make me wonder how we have become so very weak. Okay, I’m not a military expert, yes I did serve in the Army and also did a stint in the Navy (that’s for another blog) doesn’t mean I know all of the ins and outs of the military mindset. I just can’t believe that after spending some unbelievable sums of money on the latest technological wizardry, that our military is somehow inferior to the rest of the world.
Then, there is the lurking enemy, you know the one just around the corner, slinking along waiting for the proper time to pounce. I have this picture in my mind of a group of people in a darkened room, on the seedier side of town, with only a bare 25 watt light bulb burning above them all hunched over a table plotting some nefarious deed. (Huh, I wonder if that was how Jesus found his disciples when he entered that upper room unannounced?) Kind of like cranking the handle on a Jack-in-the-Box, out they pop and we’re done for. Really, I have more fear of car doors being opened unexpectedly than I do of some shadow agent or terrorist seeking my demise. Sure, maybe at some point the sky will fall, the chicken will be right and we’ll all have egg on our faces, but to live in abject fear all of the time tends to take the fun out of being alive.
Maybe, and this might take some effort, if we would all just take a moment to breathe deeply, inhale the good, exhale the bad, and just sit down and talk, you know like face to face and not through Facebook, we might find that what people really want is to live in peace, find true love and enjoy decent beer. Had to add the beer, sort of my homage to Ben Franklin. So I will leave it at that and go, pop open some decent beer and enjoy the moment, because you never know when that car door will open and catch you unawares.