Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Not the end of history, but the midst of it. Carry on.

Last night, right about the time this picture was taken with some friends, I sent a Tweet:
"Ladies & Gents, I have a prediction. In about 6 hours, the sun'll come up. Get a grip. We've got interesting times coming. Rise to it. ;-) "
One of the replies I received was that,
... yes, the sun would rise, with UV rays that'll give us skin cancer & kill us all!

Oh, come on people! Get a grip! If the day to day of life is that difficult for you, it's probably because you live your life mired in the present, where each ripple feels like being buffeted by storm surge waves. Get some perspective. Read some history.

An after election scotch with Scott (off camera), Letitia (the knee), moi,
JD, Chris & Dana (snapped by Jen)
Consider what it must have been like to hold onto conservative thoughts while living through re-election after re-election after re-election under FDR.

Or even worse, imagine what it must have been like to have beaten back the beast with Harding/Coolidge, only to see the country turn towards the ProRegressive Hoover, with the inkling of the disaster that'd follow.

Or even worse than that, to have actually lived as a free man at the turn of the 20th century, only to see it traded away for treats under Teddy Roosevelt, and then locked in with constitutional amendments under Wilson; imagine seeing your once free nation suddenly turning to locking up thousands of your fellow Americans for the crime of disagreeing with the policies of the Wilson Administration.

That would be tough.

And yet still, the sun would rise again, and life would simply go on, completely careless of your pain. That's just the way it works.

Do I need to extend that back any further? To the Civil War? The wrenching anguish of deciding upon revolution in 1776? The horrifying struggles to survive Jamestown? The loss of Roanoke? Caesar overthrowing the Republic of Rome? The fall of Rome? Hellooo...?

And you think the sun is going to pause in its course, and life is going to wait for you to get your head together, because Barack Obama was re-elected POTUS?

Go stand in the corner, and don't you dare make a noise or come out until you've recovered, or I'll draw a circle for you to put your nose in.


Grow up.

The election's over. Deal with it. The sun came up this morning, as I predicted it would last night, and I'm pretty confident that it is going to continue to do so.

The Real Miracle
It took thousands of years to reach the miracle that was, is and are, the ideas America was founded upon. The fact that that understanding has been largely lost over the last century, is far less impressive than the fact that they were found, and instituted and stood out in this world for over a century.

We are not at the end of history, but in the midst of it. Yes, the pendulum has swung away from center, but the good news is that it will, eventually, swing back, but it will do so at history's pace, not yours. If you want to encourage its pace, learn the ideas that first animated America, and spread them. Nothing less will change history's course.

25 years ago today, I changed my life when Carol married me and made me a part of hers. 25 years, three kids and a life worth living later, I've learned not to mistake the distractions of the daily events, for what is really real. If you expect me to pretend that the re-election of the living lie that is Barack Obama and his policies, that that fiction is supposed to distract me from the reality of living my life... then I'm laughing at your superior intelligence.

Understand, I'm not being a Pollyanna here, I'm not predicting smooth sailing. In fact I'm doubling down on the doom and gloom that I've seen coming for years. Bad times are coming. But they always were, and always will be.

I just refuse to grant that any significance in my life.

What was true yesterday, is still true today, as is the need to stand by it. And the need to do your best to spread the understanding of it.

As to Romney's call to end political bickering:
Up Yours. Viva la Gridlock!
New Tone.


People have asked me
'Didn't you expect Romney to win?'
No. I hoped he would, absolutely. But I understood that hope very rarely brings change, on it's own.

Elections do not cause change, they register it.

I, who have been focused on the state of Education, and have a pretty good grasp of history, have never expected to 'win' in less than 50 years. Sooo... no, I'm not surprised, and I didn't expect the task at hand to change even if Romney won (in fact, I told friends early on yesterday, that if he won, I thought that our task would be just getting started) - such a win might have made things less difficult, but I never expected it to change or improve things.

So, with that, I have the same optimism I had before the election, and which I had several years before the rest of the world realized it was time for a Tea Party; that being, that if everything goes swimmingly our way, without a single hitch or swerve, it would take 50 years to restore the full ideas of America to the minds of Americans, which is the only change that has a hope of changing things for the good.

Yesterday was a swerve.

Oh well. As Gagdad Bob put it: "S.N.A.F.U." Exactly. Carry on.

The task at hand has not changed, and still remains. Nothing has changed from yesterday.



mushroom said...

I agree with you. If I had to pick a favorite line it would be: Elections do not cause change, they register it.

Yes, indeed.

freespeak said...

LOL...."forward" indeed!

freespeak said...

And Dana's face is mine.

Yabu said...

I believe what I believe, and I'll keep on keeping on.

philmon said...

Or, as I put it, "culture wars are not won at the ballot box. They are won in living rooms and dining rooms and around the water cooler."

Elections just measure our progress. We have a lot more work to do.