To view my church-in-place video for Father's Day, go to Joy in Discovery
P. T. Barnum was right, but his "minute" was in error. Suckers are born a whole lot more often than every minute.
By Andrew L. Pate
On February 27, 2020—during a campaign rally in South Carolina—President Donald Trump claimed that the coronavirus pandemic was a "new hoax" promoted by the Democrats. In retrospect, Trump's claim masked its several weaknesses, not the least of which was its being a blatant lie.
The underlying problem with Trump's claim was not that he was wrong, which we know; it was that millions of American believed him, and currently, these believers deem it okay for Trump to have told a big whopper to boost his campaign. His goal was noble, the Trumpian thinking goes.
We believe what we want to believe, right? And at the time of Trump's "hoax" claim many Americans were enjoying a far-reaching economic upswing while zealously wishing for the growth in wealth to continue. The extreme zealots were vulnerable. And the gullible among them bought Trump's con.
On this particular issue, the Democrats fared better than the Republicans. But not by a lot. To date, 100 plus days since Trump's "hoax" accusation, the Democrats have yet to score a major victory; a few minor wins, maybe, but no big ones, with Democrats leaving in their wake a failed Impeachment and a hugely expensive, now almost forgotten Mueller investigation..
Like their counterparts, the Democrats have been unable to avoid the utilization of unsubstantiated propaganda and empty promises to advance their causes. Not surprisingly, few of their initiatives have moved significantly forward.
"We would never have delayed acknowledging the pandemic," Democrats have said, retreating to an unprovable assertion. In addition, key Democratic leaders, like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, were also weeks late in acknowledging Covid-19's lethal power.
Then, too, in recent history Democrat leaders has shown glaring inconsistencies and embarrassingly ineffective follow-through on their proposals. Little wonder Obamacare is on life support.
Initially, in the 2016 campaign, the Democrats vacillated in their responses to Trump as though they believed the successes of the Obama administration would sustain them indefinitely. When evidence surfaced that the Russians were interfering in the 2016 election, they retreated meekly into hiding Hillary's weaknesses rather than seeking boldly to promote her broad experience and enviable talents. As a result, they paid a huge price; winning the popular vote in 2016 was not enough for them to defeat electorally a candidate totally without political experience and whose solitary stand-out qualification was his superficial success as a TV entertainer.
OK, "believing what we want" is too simple. For the speed with which change has come since WWII has thrust us, ofttimes brutally, into our traumatized world of the present, a present in which virtually anything that "was" is now "gone" the very second we note it. Multiple alterations in our multiple worlds occur quicker than we can blink an eye or form an intelligent response.
So, when an idea or movement comes along that satisfies in the moment, we jump on board, determined to stay there for as long as possible.
Competing interests nudge, provoke and tease us constantly. When we buy into conspiracies theories that are soon exposed as illusory, we move rapidly on to another theory that might comfort us anew. In the process, we are determined to stand fast; and we vigorously resist our competitors out of fear they can destroy the very protective covers with which we have adorned ourselves.
As disturbing as rapid change is, however, if we are to deal successfully with its effects, modernity itself compels us to come to grips with the several layers of confusion that have built seemingly unbridgeable chasms between us.
At this point, and partly in hindsight, it seems important to underscore the inevitable humanness of our wanting to accept and assimilate whatever is satisfying—this "wanting" drives and directs us from our infancy into our present and toward our future, as that future rushes toward us. Thus, we the people, we are in dire need of understanding better our world, who we are and how we got to be so. Surely, the better we understand our past, the better we understand our present.
I am, for example, an Anglo Texan. I grew up in the South, that section of our nation in which racial prejudice is still the strongest. However much I may think I have moved beyond slave-heritage feelings and thoughts, I cannot totally escape those influences, especially those elements of which I may be the least proud. They remain. And no matter how successful I am in rising above them and becoming more at one with the totality of humanity, prejudices stay within me. It is critical, I believe, for me to understand my heritage and its contents. When I seek to evade this self-realization, and thousands of Americans do the same, we are truly lost.
Thus, we humans on the earth of 2020, the seriously befuddled, and our circumstances are not going to change drastically—not anytime soon, nor later. . . perhaps not ever. Life is what it is.
So, what are we to do to resolve the paralyzing differences resulting from our having chased one lie after another? Resort to violence? To civil war? In some powerful, lethal engagement, prove once and for all who's right and who's wrong?
Which is human folly, of course, and the reason sane people are searching diligently for a recovery avenue that will enable the humankind to live together in community, at peace with themselves and with one another..
I believe—and thankfully, I am not alone—the best way to deal with our "lies" is to do our best to hold to a set of values that historically have strengthened us as a people and which, if adhered to, will continue to do so..
Quality, in-depth education should help. Too many among us are painfully weak in our knowledge of our own history and in comprehension of the key factors that have enabled the USA to be as miraculously empowered as it has been since 1776.
Fortunately, our younger citizens do comprehend to a greater extent than most our 21st century place.— the Millennials and Generation X, the children and grandchildren of the Baby Boomers, the great grandchildren of the Greatest Generation, they understand today better than the rest of us and possess a greater awareness of how to live it creatively.
These youngsters grew up in a rapidly changing world. They have learned to adapt, become accustomed to adaptation, and the importance of doing so quickly; They have been fully exposed to the Civil Rights Movement, know better how to apply its lessons, are better educated and more fully enlightened by their histories , skillfully enabled, therefore, to see more clearly than their elders how critical are truth, justice, equality and freedom for guaranteeing the stability of our nation and our world.
Sadly, the harder we Americans press for a return to an imagined Anglo greatness of the past, the further we move away from dealing successfully with the present and the further we distance ourselves from becoming qualified to move ahead as a unified people. When unity and solutions to our differences are not our principle purposes: Truth becomes a Lie. Justice is denied. Equality does not exist. And everyone is enslaved to that which satisfies themselves and their kin, obscuring and ignoring the needs of others.
Without ever-unfolding new insight and fresh, hopeful directions coming to us, our compelling dream of an America's paradise wanes , growing weaker with the birth of every sucker.
A guiding method is needed, a pragmatic maxim that works to defend the best in us, attack the worst in us and make possible the necessary corrections for us to improve the totality of our condition.
Do that which is best for you and others unlike you
Neither side of the "fake" unbridgeable chasms between us has itself alone the know how to erect effective spans for cooperation and coexistence. Stubbornly insisting on "my way" or 'no way" simply is not working, and will not work.
No, if we earnestly desire what is best for ourselves, life in the present requires of us, in an authentic, workable manner, to inquire purposely and continuously about that which is best for ourselves AND for those who disagree with us and who likely were molded differently.
Our maxim strongly indicates: in our current chambers of power our presumed leaders are excessively immersed in insisting upon their way, without modification. This is cowardly. American values are weakened and our nation is paralyzed, no longer united by the courage to build Community, not division..
As prelude to this building of Community, five questions immediately arise:
- Is Affordable Health Care of benefit to me and to citizens unlike me, in such a manner that collectively our needs are met?
- Does inflexible leadership, Republican or Democrat, serve any purpose other than to divide us?
- Do our relationships with foreign countries benefit us so that they too are aided?
- Can our 50 states govern so that the unity of its varying citizenship is honored? and
- Are the decisions we citizens make of such a nature that they make America stronger while also improving the existence of the citizens in other countries?
In answer, every second counts.
OUr youth are not so ingrained. They have been more affeted by rapidity. Not only can they handle cell phones bettter, they are more accustomed to change. They seem to thrive.on it.