Tuesday, October 03, 2006
What happened in Amish Country? Little innocent girls, sheltered from the winds of war and violence of our world were brutalized and some had their lives taken. They have been senselessly and bestially attacked and killed by, in my mind, the lowest insect that nature has ever in error created. To call him an animal is to give him an appellation much more than he deserves. Has our country gone insane? What is wrong with our culture, our country and our world?
Steve Allen the brilliant comic, commentator and man of letters entitled one of his books Vulgarians at the Gate in which he talked about the crudity that has enveloped this country that I think he thought never existed in more innocent times. After the late 60's cultural metamorphosis, our country saw this crudity and reacted. The Evangelicalization of America began. The Evangelical, religious and especially fundamentalist Christians ultimately put our present government in place. Since the era of Richard Nixon, they now have taken the Presidency, the Congress and even many of the Courts. They did so under the guise of returning America to a more moral majority. Politics has since then become the ugliest profession. We are divided like no other time except, perhaps, during the Civil War.
Since George Bush took office, we have experienced, 9/11, 2700 plus American deaths, thousands slaughtered in Iraq, multiple school shootings, world terrorist attacks galore, the Katrina debacle, sexual assaults, a Congressman's disgusting emails to a minor and its attendant cover-up to ensure a political party's power, unspeakable pedophilic crimes, corrupt politics, indictments of Congressmen, and so many more horrific acts too numerous to mention here. Hypocrisy abounds. It would appear unbridled religiosity uncompromising and extreme has not been the answer.
I do not know what the answer is. I do think, however, trying to become a more humane culture might be a start. I heard someone recently say that America is great if you are in good health and plan to work very hard. If you are not, however, do not come here because America has a kind of wild west mentality -- every man for himself.
Perhaps, all this needless, senseless, incomprehensible violence and cruelty could be averted if we nurture a softer core and if we begin to feel our government cares about what happens to its people. Until then, I suspect the violence by the alienated will continue. Those of us who lived the late 1960's were saying often a simple thing -- give peace a chance. We never did. Perpetual war begets perpetual violence. I suspect we need to try something else.