An Epiphany? Or Indigestion?

I was on the treadmill at the gym, watching panelists on “Morning Joe” react to the daily stream of Trumpisms, when I had an epiphany of sorts. Or maybe it was just a bout of indigestion…

We are framing America’s worsening political divide all wrong. We aren’t having a debate between Left and Right, Conservatives and Liberals. We are having a culture war.

Think about it.

Republicans with whom I worked for many years–those in my age cohort–are appalled by what the party has become. They are no less conservative than they ever were, if you define conservative by reference to a genuine political ideology and policy preferences that are congruent with that ideology. They look at today’s GOP, and they don’t see anything approaching a coherent philosophy– or for that matter, any real engagement with reality, or with ideas of any sort.

That reaction isn’t limited to older, bewildered, garden-variety Republicans. It’s also common among  the pundits and think-tank scholars who once represented the intellectual core of a conservative GOP–Norman Ornstein, David Brooks, Jennifer Rubin, Charlie Sykes and numerous others. As Sykes–a radio commentator popular with the Right before he joined #nevertrump–recently wrote,

[Trump] tapped into something disturbing that we had ignored and perhaps nurtured—a shift from freedom to authoritarianism, from American “exceptionalism” to nativism and xenophobia. From his hard line on immigration and rebuttal of free trade to his strange fascination with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump represented a dramatic repudiation of the values that had once defined the movement.

Social scientists have characterized this shift in GOP orthodoxy as a move to the extreme Right. I think a recent column by David Brooks hints at a more accurate description. After analyzing arguments made by both sides in the gun control argument, he wrote the following (the emphases are mine).

The real reason the gun rights side is winning is postindustrialization. The gun issue has become an epiphenomenon of a much larger conflict over values and identity.

A century ago, the forces of industrialization swept over agricultural America, and monetary policy became the proxy fight in that larger conflict. Today, people in agricultural and industrial America legitimately feel that their way of life is being threatened by postindustrial society. The members of this resistance have seized on issues like guns, immigration, the flag as places to mobilize their counterassault. Guns are a proxy for larger issues.

Four in 10 American households own guns. As Hahrie Han, a political science professor, noted in The Times Wednesday, there are more gun clubs and gun shops in this country than McDonald’s. For many people, the gun is a way to protect against crime. But it is also an identity marker. It stands for freedom, self-reliance and the ability to control your own destiny. Gun rights are about living in a country where families are tough enough and responsible enough to stand up for themselves in a dangerous world.

The lines I have emphasized describe the people who form the base of today’s GOP. They are not “conservative” in the political philosophy sense of that word; instead, they are trying to “conserve” a world and a reality that is fast disappearing. The nativism and xenophobia that Sykes references are characteristic of people who feel themselves under siege and desperately want someone to blame.

The increasing hostility between the so-called GOP “establishment” and the party’s ever more rabid base is in part a disconnect between people who have relatively coherent and informed policy preferences and people who are frightened and angry and acting out. (I say “in part” because if you define the current GOP establishment as its elected officials, there’s sufficient intellectual dishonesty and outright corruption to justify a good deal of that hostility.)

If we mischaracterize our dangerous and chaotic political environment as a rational (albeit impassioned) debate between philosophies of the Left and Right, we will continue to fight the wrong battles. Thoughtful Conservatives and Liberals can and do find areas of agreement and work together in the public interest. Philosophical and policy differences are irrelevant, however, to beleaguered culture warriors who see modernity as an existential threat, and seek vindication of their worldview in an authority figure who personifies their belligerence and shares their contempt for reason, expertise, moderation and complexity.

We need to fight the right battle.

I wish I knew how.

 

 

49 thoughts on “An Epiphany? Or Indigestion?

  1. I agree. We are having a culture war. This weekend is the 50th annual Hilly Hundred bicycle tour in Ellettsville, IN. I’ve ridden it many times. This is the first year I’ve seen anti-Hilly graffiti spray painted on the trail, e.g. “Hilly Go Home”, “Please Crash”, plus loud music, air horn and a Trump flag. I asked fellow riders, “Is this the start of a class war?”

  2. I may be the oldest one among you, 92 YO at the end of this year.
    When I read your penetrating posts I wonder how I accumulated so much assorted data over the years and really know so little.
    As one of the “Greatest Generation” I ought to be able to tell you how we can get out of this shipwreck. I can’t. I’m sitting this one out. If I make it past the next two national elections I will have voted AGAINST. I don’t like the idea but I’m a victim of our political times so I really have no choice. Sad, isn’t it?

  3. Is it possible that the thoughtful conservatives may have to start voting for middle-of-the-road democrats when given that choice against one of this new breed of Republicans instead of voting based on party? I’m an Independent by choice so I feel free to consider the individuals

  4. Thank you Ms Kennedy and keep writing. Trump will disappoint and not everyone in agriculture or living in the country is a knuckle dragger. And honestly the most extreme out here are tolerated not embraced. Tolerated like ‘that relation’ who never knows how to behave at a family gathering.

  5. A good, thoughtful column which is largely “right on” (as we used to say in the 60s). One minor change I would make though, I think the existential threat that the culture warriors perceive is post-modernity rather than modernity.

  6. Seems to me that extreme intolerance was brought forth and nurtured by talk radio where name calling became a form of entertainment. Anyone and everyone became target eligible as the feeding of the darkest parts of people’s souls brought about great ratings. All of it has become normalized, as has extreme violence in films and other art forms.

    Fighting against the divisiveness that this intolerance has brought about is a daily battle for those who realize the damage it is causing. Unfortunately, since Trump arrived on the public scene, the divisions in the country have only become more entrenched. I suspect that all of us have seen it in our own lives with family members and friends and neighbors. I know I have.

    I do not know where we are heading, but we are certainly well on our way.

  7. Sheila; our thoughts are somewhat on the same wavelength this morning. I intended to research, and hopefully find, a copy of the oath sworn to by both parties in the Senate and the House. Seeking how close – or how distant – their current actions/inactions are to those oaths. What better way to learn who is keeping to their oath and who are ignoring it to keep their job and line their pockets?

    We also need to know if those oaths of office have been changed between the years we worked for Republicans in the Hudnut administration (were Indiana Republicans a different breed from the GOP at that time?) and what we are seeing from them today. The same information is needed regarding the Democratic members, of course. The changes in the lack of loyalty to the voters is blatant but, has their oath of office changed and they are adhering to a new party foundation? How has money taken such a stronghold and how has Congress been allowed to move us closer and closer to a caste system such as that in India when people starved as cattle roamed the streets being worshiped as holy beings? We are being forced to accept and follow bullshit – not bulls.

  8. Sheila: “We need to fight the right battle. I wish I knew how.”

    You just need to know the right CONTEXT. It’s DOMESTIC VIRAL WARFARE releasing what might be best described as a “New Strain of the Hitler Virus.” It’s been infecting and mutating within the body politic since Jerry Fallwell’s visit to Israel in the 60’s.

    If that’s the case, then you have to organize around a new form of DOMESTIC MILITARY INTELLIGENCE in order to defend and eventually attack the VIRAL PLATFORM.

    I suggest it’s that simple. But you have to be willing to STAND UP TO THE PLATE and know how to protect yourself from a possible BEAN BALL directed at your head.

    From my personal experience, it is much more dangerous than fighting, for example, the Ebola Virus since there are more than a determined few who do not want to see a cure.

    But, do we have any other choice than to play the game? No. This is the time to do it since it’s still more like a game and not like a war.

    However, was Las Vegas a game or a war?

  9. They grumble and they moan and they decry the loss of their intellectual justifications for misogyny and greed, and then they vote for Republicans. They vote for Mitch McConnell, who stole a Supreme Court seat. They vote for Paul Ryan, a pretend serious person who will tesr to pieces the safety net that saved him. They will steal women’s right to be people, smug in the confidence that their privilege will protect them from their own rules. And we, do we applaud them for pointing out that the monster they elected isn’t using their polite dog whistles but is, instead, daring to say aloud what they’ve hinted at for decades? I need tar and feathers. I need sackcloth and ashes. I need denunciation of the whole damned edifice and apologies for their part in building it, not griping about a little graffiti saying crudely what they’ve been whispering slyly from the day Lee Atwater drafted Nixon’s southern strategy.

  10. Below I copied and pasted the basic information I found; the oaths of members of Congress appear to be based in money matters with “no religious Test required”, which is not the same as “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,”. The current laws protecting/supporting one religious belief, are based on cherry-picking parts of an already established religion. Apparently; no set obligation to the public to be met and religion not to be considered, unless the individual oaths have added their own views which put McConnell and Ryan in charge of maintaining Trump’s world-view of his position as Emperor. It appears the oaths of Congress were not important enough to provide specific Constitutional guidelines yet Congress rules this country. Was this the intent of the founding fathers and is this why the Legislative powers are listed in the Constitution before those of the Executive office? Slave ownership was part of their “culture”. Party control in Congress is more powerful than the President’s; a hard lesson we learned during President Obama’s administration. The term “culture” in this country has always been a code-word, or dog whistle, for racism in it’s many forms. The term “culture” is now also a code word, or dog whistle, for religious beliefs and the basis for deporting immigrants.

    “The Constitution specifies no details for the oath of office for Congress:

    Constitution, Article 6 – Debts, Supremacy, Oaths
    The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

    The first Congress developed this requirement into a simple, 14-word oath:
    “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States.”

  11. I’m republishing a Neal Gabler article later today about what he calls the great social divide of “winners and losers” within America. He includes both a political poll and happiness index to support his idea where we seem to find ourselves now.

    Neither political party in America represents the interests of the people. As long as corporations and billionaires can donate monies across district lines, there is no representative republic. One could easily make a case that both parties reside “right of center”. Under an Oligarch, I would argue the political spectrum is a farce.

    The Happiness Index shows the USA slipping on a global scale. This could be contributing to the opioid crisis and other forms of escape as American mobility is diminishing rapidly. Hope is replaced with despair.

    For me, the social divide goes hand in hand with a class division. We are transitioning through late stages of capitalism where our focus on greed has caused society to tip way out of balance. Sorting winners and losers is just a temporary stage. What follows this stage is what concerns me…

  12. David,
    “…….Lee Atwater drafted Nixon’s southern strategy.”

    You have to go back even further than Richard Nixon and the Southern Strategy. A better starting point would be the ATTEMPTED FASCIST TAKEOVER in 1935 involving both the Dupont Family and, according to the BBC, the Bush Family which was brought to a halt by the intervention of General Smedley Butler through his Congressional testimony and was SUSPENDED even further when Nazi Germany declared war against America in 1941.

    It didn’t take long after the German defeat in 1945 to start thinking FASCISM again for America especially within the Bush family. This mess is much more about the Bush Family than the Trump Family.

  13. “They are not “conservative” in the political philosophy sense of that word; instead, they are trying to “conserve” a world and a reality that is fast disappearing. ”

    This copied sentence describes the rabid right base that continues to support trump.

  14. Jane Goodall sees in Trump an alpha male chimpanzee who is relating to his followers on a very primal level. If she is right, a debate about political philosophy is certainly not going to fix this.

  15. The TRUTH is that this is just a new form of Nazism. That’s why Trump and his cohorts keep throwing out the smokescreen of FAKE NEWS. They’re afraid that the REAL DEEP TRUTH, which is the only ANTIDOTE to this terrible mess, will somehow be delivered and the populace, both Republicans and Democrats, will then wake up to the mess they have created for themselves.

  16. Front page Indianapolis Star today about IKEA: “can the neighbors get along with him (sic)”. Answer: just fine. Why? “For one thing, IKEA has cache, even if the storie is three times the size of a Wal-Mart. For another, Ikea’s guests are quiet and well-behaved…” let that digest. What did reporter John Touhy think, mean, assume? The elite vs the unwashed? Thanks a lot. John.

  17. Roxanne,

    Jane Goodall is right. This isn’t a debate. It’s a ZERO-SUM GAME OR WORSE. You’re either a winner or a loser. This isn’t even close to a WIN-WIN SITUATION which would be hoped for in a democracy.

  18. The idea that the tribes are liberals vs authoritarians came together for me when I read that authoritarians need someone to be in charge even if it’s not them.

    The need for strict lines of authority, a feeling of being entitled in the past and seeing that authority waning, reading numerous Facebook posts from people who clearly demand their way, it all makes sense to me now.

  19. We need to distract, but in a non=violent way. Perhaps we should focus on the economy, a “new” one in which there would be no interest charged. (Yes! This is possible!) Also the new economy would act upon the so-called Precautionary Principle: 1) First, do no harm and 2) Do to others as you would have them do to you.

  20. To All,

    Trump is fronting an attempted TAKEOVER. The Movement cannot be successful in the face of TRUTH. It’s been using deception from the beginning with the CHRISTIAN-ZIONIST ALLIANCE.

    The Alliance is a TROJAN HORSE that has allowed anti-semitism to spread and MUTATE without any meaningful response. Any response by the Jewish Establishment to unmask this MODUS VIVENDI would have immediately threatened any aid to Israel. So they are forced to walk a “thin line.” I don’t agree with this approach, however, I must admit, I can understand it.

    As a matter of fact, that is exactly would President George Bush temporarily did in 1991 in the face of exposure. He suspended aid to Israel.

    We need to understand that the LEVEL of hatred in America is much worse than most people can understand.

    [ I have to admit there are some advantages in being 80. I think OMG can undestand]

  21. Todd and Marv,

    “What follows this stage is what concerns me…”

    Me three. This means that the social cohesion of this country has rotted to its core and just as what Marv pointed out that nearly happened in 1935 (thank you once again General Smedley “Old Gimlet Eye” Butler, USMC) is happening again. This time, however, there are no FDRs on the horizon and the ones that are accelerating this are holding office across the country from the top down and getting help from the Russian FSB and GRU. The Upton Sinclair-types that were on the other extreme of the 1935 equation have all been marginalized in one way or another and lie only on one side of the great divide. Perhaps those that marched last night in Charlottesville, VA under torchlight will be the future leaders of the other.

    Am I scare? Yes, I am!!! We are so far down the river that we’ve been sold down that we may not be able to find our way back and there might not be any viable route back anyway.

  22. Gingrich and Norquist with their play book and pledges began the corruption of the system. Loyalty was to a Party ideology and its goals that had nothing to do with constituents and everything to do with oligarchs and the rapid transfer of wealth and power. Many Party members currently in office are signees of those pledges and committed members of the Party caucuses. They sold their souls to the devil and now live in fear of what the consequences will be if they deviate from the leaderships’ orders. That fear, that loss of power, status, and the attendant wealth that follows, are too strong to resist. They have become lackeys. (See Pence for a perfect example.)

  23. The aid to Israel was temporarily cut off by President George Bush after I filed The Alarm Report in 1991, http://www.thealarmreport.info. With the TRUTH out in the open, he was unable to block and prevent the victory for ONE MAN, ONE VOTE. But I have to admit, he got even.

    It’s all about TRUTH. I might have only a .650 batting average. But the reason for that is the other 7 times a bat, I was faced with either assaults, extortion, slander or libel or more and I decided to temporarily quit swinging. But only temporarily.

  24. Marv, the Dulles Brothers made their own contribution to Fascism in the USA. The Devil’s Chessboard by David Talbot is an excellent if depressing book about the Dulles Brothers and their effect in turning America into AmeriKa and their enduring legacy of Corporatism and Neo-Colonialism.

    The Plutocracy which controls both political parties is perfectly happy with chaos to a point. Controlled Chaos allows the American people to remain divided and triangulated. The Plutocrats can maintain control via their campaign contributions. We see useful dupes of the plutocracy elected. Many of these dupes know they are being used, but for the dupes it is a paramount goal to continue to be elected in cycle after cycle.

    Cultivation of the people with leanings that favor authoritarianism and hierarchy, like the religious zealots is of prime importance. The issues can be framed as the War on Christmas, War on Family Values, War on Gun Ownership, etc.

  25. Though I nearly without fail enjoy the comments on this blog, I have purposefully not read them yet because I want to comment immediately after finishing reading to respond to your wish, Sheila. You move the world forward by keeping doing what your are doing and similar things — because they are cultural things that are constructive, that build and maintain community that welcomes newcomers in as they discover you. We need to keep the constructive culture alive and growing and then we all need to be politically active. We really need to be working to get that mass (majority?) of people who are not politically active to become so in hopes that not only the political but also the cultural balance of power will swing in a constructive and welcoming direction. Thank you for your work, Sheila.

  26. I might be wrong, but I still don’t believe anyone wants to be on a ship that has been sabotaged. As a criminal defense attorney practicing in East Texas in Raines County, probably the most racist county in America, which had a sitting Klan judge, despite all of this and my somewhat Jewish heritage, I never lost a case.

    The reason for that, I discovered that we ALL had something in common. A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP. I learned through reading a book by a famous trial attorney at the Dallas Law Library that If I could convince a jury that they were making a big mistake and that someday they would regret it and because of that they would probably never have another good night’s sleep, then I could never lose.

    As a matter of fact, I never did. That’s why I was one of the featured speakers at the Inaugural Sun Tzu Art of War Conference at Vanderbilt University last February. http://www.Sonshi.com

    Along the same line, I’m confident if the Republicans, still onboard the S.S. Trump, knew that the ship’s structure had been sabotaged below the waterline and that the engine room would soon be flooding, they would mutiny and, if unsuccessful, then lower the lifeboats and leave the Captain to go down with his ship.

    As I keep saying: WE ALL WANT A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP.

  27. And, yes, it’s a culture war. It has roots in the Sixties, when the culture war fizzled out in the ugliness of the Seventies and sort of smeared out all over the place. But this particular set of battles has been deliberately provoked by people who intend to win. And they are not people whose ideas I want to live by, whose values I want to be forced to uphold or whole wealth I want to continue to contribute to.

  28. Marv is right: “The TRUTH is that this is just a new form of Nazism.” Please recall the Nazi conception of the unique racial character of national culture. The neo-nazis and the alt-right see everything through the prism of white supremacy and loathe diversity, multiculturalism, affirmative action, protection of minority rights and religions etc because they are antithetical to the unique cultural traditions, identity and power of white supremacy.

  29. In ’64, Goldwater’s brand of Conservatism was largely regarded as extremist. Today, many Democrats are even further right, it would seem. So a true conservative — or a Goldwater conservative, anyway — should have no problem voting for a Democrat candidate.

    So much for the promises we hoped for in the years after Camelot…

    We can only hope that politics is truly cyclical and the corruption, hatred, and violence that mark the Orange Horror’s “administration” will be the earthquake that rights the political landscape.

  30. It’s all part of the gradual shift from small kingdoms and city-states to the inevitable world government. As we face larger, world-wide problems, cooperation will be required to an extent that will require centralized control. This will also require individuals to accept a lack of control over their own lives. People who have been propagandized all their lives (especially older people who lived through the Cold War) about American greatness, freedom, liberty, self-determination, etc., will not be able to accept new realities and will resist change. The tribalism of country and religion is how such people have been controlled in the past, and those controlled mechanisms are persistent. The current GOP is nothing but a criminal gang that uses this conflict to loot the treasury. Trump is just an unusual, dysfunctional gang boss within their ranks.

    “Like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” — Barack Obama

  31. So; Mike Pence came home to attend the Colts game today but walked out after the Anthem because many members of the San Francisco 49ers, as expected, knelt down during the Anthem. Then reports, supposedly from Trump, stated he had told Pence to leave if this happened and Pence was just following orders. Pence was previously scheduled to attend a $2,700 per plate fund raiser in Los Angeles at 6:30 this evening. Leaving the Colts game before it began gave him plenty of time to fly to LA, probably watching his Breaking News action on the plane.

    I just had an epiphany that this charade has been planned for days and was carried out on cue and to proper fanfare as scheduled. This epiphany did give me indigestion.

  32. In re political philosopy, it has always been about values; the right and left are mere end expressions of values held. Holmes noted long ago, for instance, that the law was based on experience, but he did not elucidate us on just what experience was likely to result in predictable judicial or legislative initiatives. We accordingly based many of such legal initiatives not on experience but rather on perceptions of it. For instance, no one living today has had real experience with ante-bellum America. All are dead, so today’s racists are dealing with perceived experience of long ago passed down from generation to generation, thus dealing a blow to Holmes’ view that experience dictated formation or discarding of law (see Jim Crow, poll taxes etc.) that were not results of personal but rather perceived experience passed down. It is easy to rid ourselves of a law; just repeal it. It is not so easy to change our folkways and mores, whether products of real or perceived experience.

  33. Marv – what do you think about the military brass and the White House?
    Isn’t it shades of Germany in the thirties? When do you think there will be a coup d’état?
    Who will be the first to say “we didn’t know it could happen”?
    Marv, I’m too old to lead a parade. Are you?

  34. OMG,

    “Marv, I’m too old to lead a parade. Are you?”

    Probably not. Like General Douglas MacArthur, I could use my cane if my knees start bothering me.

  35. JoAnn,
    Pence walking out of the game was a stunt. It has backfired of course, and the rest of the country can now get a taste of the Pence we here in Indiana have known and grown to despise.

  36. remember Gary! well, if you need a reminder of the decay,and needs of others.. hey pence,posturing for president? on the campaign trail so early? the thought here was the rights visual of past life,the values they need to survive i guess,im the upper plains states,like the dakotaa, we have a large array of such people, i have been up here for 30 plus years,air,clean,llandscape,no trash, highways,just a few dickheads. but armed to the teeth. thers such a broad need here to be heard,thats so quiet. sure is infuriating when one sees money and guns as the only needs in life. and they pass that down to the next generations. the right has decided, a small farm bill,which effects every aspect of life here, who cares,we have
    our guns, the younger working generations, as in conversation,about wages,inequality,etc, they saidm arnt we suppose to just accept it? really,no sense of power,but damn if my gun will leave my sise….

  37. OMG,

    “Marv….Isn’t it shades of Germany in the thirties? When do you think there will be a coup d’état?”

    I don’t foresee a coup d’etat other than the one that is now being attempted by the THREE LOSERS [Trump/Pence/Bannon]. However, I do see in the very near future a counter third force, much like Desert Shield which was created to oppose Saddam Hussein.

    A COUNTER THIRD FORCE was attempted against the Nazi threat in Germany, but it was too little and too late. That’s not the case in America. When mobilized, a counter third force of approximately 40% of the TARGET POPULATION will be a more than an adequate COUNTERVAILING FORCE against the approximately 25% committed to the THREE LOSERS.

    Norman Angell, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize said it best:

    “Indeed, the underlying proposition of the book is that the war has come upon us because we have rejected the elementary social truth upon which all humane society is based, namely, that the most primary right of all—the right to life, the right not to be killed and tortured—can only be made be made a reality by the general fulfillment of an obligation, the obligation of men to defend that right on behalf of others. The community as a whole, men [and women] must defend the right of each to life, or that right cannot be defended at all. Individual defense is in the long run a physical impossibility. If each individual—whether individual person or individual nation—takes the position that he will fight for this own life but not for others, then any violent minority can, by ganging up, subdue a vast majority, for it can apply “the simple and deadly plan of one by one”: ten men can overcome a thousand if each of the thousand says: “I will fight for myself alone.” For in that case the ten do not face a thousand, they only face one—one at a time.

    “Let the People Know” by Norman Angell (The Viking Press, New York, 1942) p. v

  38. It ain’t the Dem/Reps. It ain’t the Liberal/Conservatives.
    It IS the NWO-Globalists who puppeteer both factions.
    When it comes to things like religion , government , and economics – control -mind and otherwise it is THEY that everyone needs to look to .

  39. Mark,

    “It ain’t the Dem/Reps. It ain’t the Liberal/Conservatives. It IS the NWO-Globalists who puppeteer both factions.”

    I hope you’ve included the Koch Brothers and the Bush Family in your deep analysis.

  40. So, to borrow the title of your next post, “What do we do?”

    I suggest that we learn from recent history…Specifically, let us remember and learn from Janet Reno and the Waco Disaster… This is pertinent for as this NYTime piece suggests, the Waco Fiasco still fuels the imaginations of the very groups that you are concerned with in this piece —

    https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/13/us/memories-of-waco-siege-continue-to-fuel-far-right-groups.html

    Never, ever wage “War” on anything… The only way to “win” a war is to refuse to play the “War Games”…(Remember wisdom from that movie?) This goes doubly or triply for any “Culture War”… Don’t even “Wage Peace”…for Peace must be Cultivated or else it’s merely another form of War…

    How about we “Practice Subversive Equanimity”? Such practice is coherent with and grows out of previous wisdom of “Loving Our Enemies” and “Doing Good to Those wWho’d Hurt Us”…No? It is congruent with the Highest Moral/Ethical Principle, i.e. “The Golden Rule” in both its positive and negative formulations… It is Creative and Constructive…and very Hard Work… But much more rewarding than War Mongering…No?

    All the best,

    JSN

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