Watching the news on CNN and flipping back and forth to FOX News, one would likely have no hope that any of the divisions among us these days could be reconciled. No doubt many among us have little reason to hope reconciliation will come through politics or government.
Media sources cannot even agree on the facts. How can one discern what is true and what is false? CNN shows peaceful protesters marching with signs and chanting slogans while anchors and reporters say President Trump is lying by calling these peaceful protesters looters, anarchists, and agitators. FOX News shows looters, anarchists, and agitators destroying buildings, cars, and statues while attacking police and others trying to protect their property.
In spite of what has occurred in dozens of cities across America, some still deny the unrestrained violence, destruction, and attacks against those trying to stop the violence. Everyone agrees George Floyd was literally tortured to death for more than eight minutes by a white police officer while onlookers begged him to stop. Video of that execution lit fires of rage around the globe against racial injustice. Will that rage lead to hope?
A FOX News poll last week raised some hope. Sixty-two percent of Trump supporters hope President Trump wins a second term. Sixty-three percent of Biden supporters hope President Trump loses the election. On the flip side only thirty-three percent of Trump supporters fear Biden will win, and only thirty-one percent of Biden supporters have enthusiastic support for Biden. Seriously, will either of these hopes bring reconciliation in America?
In 2008 then candidate Obama ran successfully on hope and change. Obama’s supporters demonstrated a groundswell of hope for a better America under President Obama. Now we’re learning that from 2016 on, a cadre of Obama’s top officials in law enforcement and intelligence communities planned and executed multiple operations to keep Trump from winning the presidency and to remove him from office as soon as possible if he won. Criminal investigations into these coup attempts are ongoing. Will these investigations reconcile Americans?
Last Saturday President Trump rallied his supporters at the Bank of Oklahoma Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. CNN reported Trump’s comments were “dark” and filled with “fear.” They chuckled at the number of empty seats inside the 19,000-seat arena. The Trump campaign estimated more than 5-million viewers watched the rally online or on the FOX News channel that showed the whole event without comment while President Trump was speaking.
Sadly, a major part of today’s troubles has become a relitigation of the Civil War, America’s deadliest war with 1,000,000 deaths. Protestors/Rioters are destroying and defacing public statues, memorials, and buildings in order to what? What is the end game here? Destroy every evidence of that war? Apparently some folks have learned nothing from America’s deadliest war, and have picked up the torch to fight it all over again.
Even sadder, some are threatening sovereign states and institutions within those states with a broad range of sanctions and penalties. These threats have nothing to do with law or justice. All of these forces are using hate to drive Americans back into a dark past.
Hate drives people to dwell on the past which cannot be changed. True hope leads people toward reconciliation for the future.
Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville, MS. You may contact him at [email protected].