For many Americans, the fact that history has proven the world is an evil and barbaric place is difficult to comprehend. The thought of government-managed starvation, torture, and genocide are confined to Nazi Germany in the minds of those who believe that their perception of the world is fact; Soviet slave labor camps, and the cruel enforcement of the Chinese government’s one-child policy are stories created by Republicans as a scare tactic. The origin of this denial is rooted in a mixed blessing.
The blessing is that many Americans will never have first-hand experience of government or terrorist-sponsored evil. As a result, having no perception, or just refusing to believe that such acts do occur creates a false comfort zone that is based on complacency. This complacency acts as a welcome mat for a dark, hopeless future for following generations.
As a pre or early grade school student in the early seventies, one of my earliest memories of watching a network television newscast left an impression that influences my political beliefs to this day.
I remember a story that could have happened anywhere in Asia, especially Cambodia when communism was expanding. There were people who appeared as soldiers who were walking through a crowd – some of them had sacks slung over their shoulders. As they walked through this crowd, they would grab babies out of peoples’ arms, and proceed to toss the babies into the sacks.
The pain and horror on the faces of those anguished people who had lost their children in a manner that is nothing short of proof of the existence of pure evil, creates a haunting image that appears in my mind as if I had just watched that story.
Equally evil acts against Jews and Christians – men, women, and, yes, children are spreading through the Middle East, especially in Syria and Iraq. After years of reports via the “new media,” the establishment, or obsolete media has finally decided that this story should receive some attention. Despite this increased coverage, how will these stories affect those who are under-informed by choice?
In the age of armchair activism, where feeling good about one’s self is more important than results, many people will hide in their oversized comfort zones by saying this new genocide isn’t happening.
Perhaps the thought of an evil, uncivilized world is incomprehensible as a result of the over-exaggeration of our new-world problems.
With the exception of a few neighborhoods, especially in Chicago, we almost expect to not become crime victims. In countries with unstable, corrupt governments, a false sense of security is all but a death wish. Sadly, this loss of security and governmental stability is now spreading from our worst neighborhoods outward. The escalation of corruption and crime will eventually lead to the world that the most naïve among us will have no choice but to finally acknowledge.
In order to fulfill their oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution, our elected and appointed leaders need to drop their role-playing game. The rules of this game require Democrats to accuse Republicans of racism, wanting to starve children and the elderly, trying to prevent the lower class from reaching upper-class status, wanting to outlaw all forms birth control, outlaw immigration, and taking care of their crony friends, among other accusations.
The Republicans’ role in this game is to remain on defense – perpetually apologizing for being accused of such behavior.
The conservatives in my life are compassionate individuals who cannot hide their humanitarian tendencies. If Republican politicians claim to feel the same way, then why do they apologize for being the racists that they aren’t? When confronted by an opponent who tries to affix the racist label, among others to a Republican politician, candidate or citizen, instead of replying with an unnecessary, rambling pseudo-apology, respond with two words: “Prove it.”
When a politician or candidate, such as the current batch of “approved” Republican leaders wants to create a perception as being all-things-to-all-people, the urge to defend one’s self is overridden by a strategist’s suggestion to avoid confrontation, since confrontation isn’t perceived as something within the nature of a generic, benign candidate. However, if a Republican actually holds that accuser responsible for his or her words, then a perception of self-confidence and leadership may infect the minds of voters.
When honest, legitimate candidates stoop to the level of playing a game with the future of our country, and who listen to self-proclaimed strategists who have a history of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory every election season, the nightmares of the students of history slowly evolve into reality.
Yes, governments have – and continue to commit heinous acts against citizens who they are supposed to serve. And, there are members of groups that commit evil, horrifying acts against other humans. Evil targets the young and the old – anyone who is in a defenseless state. Therefore, evil is a cowardly force. Many people who embrace some form of a liberal philosophy refuse to believe that evil exists, except maybe that Republicans want to starve children and the elderly.