Our current national situation is unlike any that I have witnessed in my almost seven decades. It is like there are two parallel universes.
One universe follows one set of media. It believes there was no fraud, or at least no significant fraud, in the November elections. It regards those who think otherwise as cranks, at the least, or domestic terrorists, at the worst.
Another universe follows another set of media. It followed the televised legislative subcommittee hearings on election fraud and watched hour after hour of sworn testimony, under penalty of perjury, of ordinary people--truck drivers, poll workers, postal workers, government employees, cybersecurity experts, statisticians. These witnesses had nothing to personally gain from coming forward and, potentially, a lot to lose. This universe believes the issue is much greater than the individual candidates, that the very foundation of our government is at stake.
Both universes consider themselves to be well-informed, patriotic citizens.
We are in a civil war, but not a shooting war. We are in an information war. I believe there is misinformation on both the right and the left and that the “fact-checkers” have been pulled into this cauldron.
There are many factors that have led to this extreme polarization. The mainstream media is largely owned by billionaires. We need to ask ourselves why. There are foreign influences among the lobbyists in Washington DC, among the universities training our future journalists, in Hollywood, in the media outlets themselves. We need to ask ourselves why. There is a deeply entrenched Washington bureaucracy that resists reform. We need to ask ourselves why. The multinational corporations spend much money influencing legislators and bureaucrats who set regulations. We need to ask ourselves why.
Underlying all of this is the collapse of The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Matthew 7:12).”
Some historians have compared this period in US history to that of Spain before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). The number killed in this war is unknown, but ranges from the hundreds of thousands to a million.
I believe the small towns of America can show the way to a higher call – the call of honor, humility, forbearance, generosity, and courtesy. We know each other, and we need each other. We care about one another.
How do we in Yazoo County go about living our best lives under these circumstances?
* We pray and stay close to God.
* We don’t feed the verbal maelstrom by murmuring, complaining, backbiting. We speak words of blessing and honor.
* We take measures to leave the world a better place for the generations after us. This can take so many different forms, from instilling character traits in young people to building enduring legacies (like businesses and institutions) to being caretakers of God’s creation to leaving an inheritance for our descendants.
The best memories – laughing over a meal, singing together, cheering at a sports event, taking a walk together– do not require great wealth or great power. The best memories are built on love.