Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Existential Nightmare Of....Existence

A long, long time ago....

This country used to work, more or less. Oh, folks had their differences. Folks will always have their differences.

And things were far from perfect. We've had some crooks in charge, I'm thinking of you Dick Nixon; and some figureheads, hello Ronnie Reagan, hello W.; several outright racists; and more than a few cyphers, Ford, Harding, Taylor, Pierce, Buchanan, Fillmore--well, yes, it is a longer list than you'd expect from the Greatest Country There Ever Was Or Ever Could Be.

But setting aside the Civil War period, which I know is impossible for some of our Southern cousins, the people who claimed to govern us would not dream of actively working to destroy the nation.

They understood that compromise was a necessary component of a functioning democracy. Hell, there wouldn't be a United States without compromise. The Constitutional Convention was nothing but a series of compromises--some good, some bad. The Founding Fathers, all of whom were human, by the way, and therefore flawed, understood that that was the only way to preserve our tenuous union.

Somehow we muddled along.

And up until, oh, 20 years ago or so, there was still the possibility of moving the country forward through a process of give and take.

But, like I said, that was a long, long time ago.

Certainly before the black guy became President.

Now, everything is a fight. Every single thing. Complex or relatively simple, it doesn't matter. And the question of whether or not something is good for the country is lost in all of the noise.

This may be because we all seem to be living in different versions of America. The commons and the idea of a common good have been shattered and all that is left is whatever each of us imagines the United States to be. Or to have been...

And that isn't any way to run a country.

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