Love never fails. Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up. ~ One Corinthian 13:7
Hatred stirs up strife; love covers all. ~ Proverbs 10:12
But hope and love get no respect in this Christian country. We rally around authoritarian Old-Testament alpha-male warriors and kings, and we revel in testosterone-driven conflict and macho matches of strength. We shun prudence and wisdom and reasonableness as weak and effeminate, and we view compassion and concern as a drain on the strong and coddling of the weak.
“Let’s remember what we’re for — let’s not just be against something. Let’s lift up hope! Let’s remind ourselves of just how much progress we’ve made and that when people who love their country decide to come together, nothing can stop them.” ~ President Barack Obama, March 12, 2016, Gilley’s Dallas
He’s still doing it. He’s still trying to unify; still trying to instill love; still trying to inspire hope.
Oh, how I am going to miss my president!
If he were a candidate today, he would give a speech asking his supporters to rise above the fray, to take the moral high road, to summon their better angels, to channel their hurt into productive peaceful discourse and their outrage into consistent committed voting.
And he would be mocked for being “weak” and “naïve” and “effeminate.”
Hillary was mocked a few days ago when she said we need more “love and kindness.”
George H.W. Bush was mocked for calling for a “kinder and gentler” nation.
It’s no coincidence that the carnage of a fiery NASCAR crash in the summer and the violence of concussion-causing helmet smashes in the fall are so popular in America. It’s no coincidence that we revel in competition-shows that are highlighted by the utter humiliation of a different contestant each week who we can kick while they’re down by texting them off the show.
A few days ago, an MSNBC commentator expressed surprise at the number of Trump supporters who had previously supported Bill Clinton and said their second choice in this race is Bernie. There are also Bernie supporters who have expressed their intention to stay home in November if Bernie isn’t the Democratic nominee; or worse, they’ll vote for Trump.
This shouldn’t be such a surprise.
We have two campaigns headed by white alpha-males whose appeal is their red-faced anger at the system; who employ revolution rhetoric to excite their followers.
Overlapping support is only natural.
Yes, Trump and Bernie are ideological-opposites on many issues. But anger is anger. It is not rational; it is not reasonable. To stoke it and provoke it, is to lose control of it.
Trump was given an opportunity Friday night to issue a statement to his followers to cool-down the temperature. He uttered words technically opposing violence – words he will later point to in defense of himself – but liberals everywhere recognized the ineffectiveness of his words in the context of everything else he’s said.
Last night, both Hillary and Bernie were given an opportunity to denounce possible violence from their own followers that might serve as a catalyst to provoke even more violence from Trump supporters.
Their responses were as weak as Trump’s. They said the right words…mixed in with, “he started it.”
Both need to do better.
If we aren’t careful, we’re going to escalate the violence.
If you find yourself romanticizing internal armed conflict in America, you need to open the history books and read the sobering accounts of the horrible deaths of 620,000 fathers and brothers and sons of America. We have a civilized peaceful way of making sure our government doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. All we have to do is vote. There are more of us than there are of them. But we have to vote. We can’t grow weary in our well-doing of the small seemingly-mundane things and compensate through seemingly-exciting revolutions. We need more rolled-up-sleeve support of less-sexy but effective and achievable Dodd-Frank regulations and less forays into careless overthrow talk.
Now is the time for liberals to soar on the warm winds of love; to fly high above the ugliness and hate; to float on the clouds with our better angels; to show – not just tell – how we are different; to follow the words of President Obama and the example of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.