Our family is half republican and half democrat, or half conservative and half liberal. No matter how you break it down, we tend not to talk about politics at family gatherings. Sacrifice the cause, to maintain the peace. We leave it to the politicians to do the bickering and pontificating perspective. We go about our lives harboring difference, has it ever been different in recent history, or if ever?
If we’re not sharing this intrinsic part of modern culture, how do we reach greater authentic interaction? Is it inauthentic not to share this? Would it be bypassing to bond in other ways, deeper, more akin to a spiritual longing? How does it look and feel in culture, to bond in ways based on our lived experience, and ways deeper that remain despite the experience? In a Nation built on individuality, and freedom of expression (including the right to freely practice the faith of one’s choice, or none at all), what will become our moral accord?
Certain events have a changing effect that allows people to see into oneness; those moments when you are overpowered by a yearning from your heart, not seeing difference. Unfortunately, these events are typical of a tragic ilk. Of course, there are times when they are moments of victory. To be victorious in a way that unifies a disjointed culture typically implies war. Save for landing on the moon, what victory have we achieved outside of War, and has had the power and influence to catalyze American culture in its entirety into sameness?
The conservative agenda has misguided with falsehood—goading the insecurities of millions of citizens under threat of decay of their way of life. How will our cultural divide begin to mend? While it holds true that certain beliefs held dear are no longer a part of a nationwide value system, the right to maintain those practices remains firmly in place, so long as they in no way seek to thwart the rights of others. Even if a moral or religious perspective is held by the majority, the opinions of these people do not trump any of our amendments in the Bill of Rights or our Constitution.
Could it be that not since the battle of desegregation has our nation been at such crossroads? A divided or blinded America, either way a growing number of our citizens are publicly demanding that their issues of inequality be addressed in a positivistic and liberating manner. These needs are viewed by those untouched with disqualifiers, and or the inaction of neutrality. Yet in our Presidential election was a candidate, for the first time, taking up the cause of many liberal demands. The bravery of a leader gave a national voice to groups whose voice, typically sidelined, whilst shifting others out of their liberal neutrality, validated that our demands as a whole begin to be met. Those demands it must be said, do not find their foundation in thingness; object or dollar—but rather, all that is ours by right of birth. We are here.
How can I so easily favor one viewpoint over the other? Not because of my multitude of minority statuses, but because it is plain to see that one viewpoint will never on its own make room for more of us at the dinner table. One viewpoint in its manifestation of destiny gives up nothing—not dignity, not respect. Those not completely in the majority have always had to fight for their rights. See every kind of Civil Rights movement for more details. The differing liberal viewpoint aims to be more inclusive to give certain inalienable rights to more people. And what, I demand to know, is so wrong with that?
Mostly it is because liberal views tend to fall out of favor with Judeo-Christian moral values. But in the real world that we are indeed experiencing, moral values are informed by many different beliefs and practices. Historically haven’t we learned that this is the stuff that religious wars are made of? Yet I feel confident in knowing, that none of us want that. Indeed, then why use fighting words? You might say, why isn’t the stance of the liberally inclusive a fight causing stance? The answer can be found in our first amendment. We all know this as the separation of church and state. The first amendment can only be deconstructed in theory, but not in practice. Why are we professing certain points of our alienable rights, while ignoring or suddenly denying others with our religious, moral, and political stance and actions?
Look to what demographically and group-wise are the things people value. Also look to the power of political persuasion of a constituency. While life and the experience are changing, political leadership does a great disservice to the whole of our nation when their stance relies upon peddling the fear of insecurity. And if a politician is so absorbed by the common fears, then he or she is not fit for leadership. Leaders are the uncommon among us, who somehow manage to rise above. And perhaps in the international scene, a leader knows and acts upon the comforting knowledge of a powerful military. But domestically, if that one-pointedness guides your politicking you are asking for anarchy. Our constitution and our first amendment say specifically: speak if your rights are denied, you take to the streets in protest. So why are we surprised to see this exercise on the rise in our country? We are not the exception in this global phenomenon.
I believe that conservative leadership has fallen into a pool of common fears—it has been their purposeful, and ever-more concentrated style since the Reagan era of subversion. Fear is corrosive, highly acidic if not radioactive—it destroys all that it touches, and the last one to realize this is typically the one wielding it like a weapon. Thwarting their own action, they become their own worst enemy.
We can’t wait, because the same still holds true, that the majority has never willfully shared what their political power has claimed to be theirs. I beg to differ, We all made this.
Desegregation saw much opposition as we well know. As it slowly began to see national acceptance, it was still a hard pill to swallow. And in many ways, still exists by other names. Begrudgingly, our Nation progressed forward, until it simply integrated and became common place. Leadership like the individual can awaken by choice or by force, as was the case with desegregation, and that awakening leadership guides a culture-wide shift in consciousness. As was the case, and still is, with desegregation and the ignorance that fueled it.