Divided We Fall


There’s never been a time in this country’s history when we weren’t divided. There have always been issues on which we disagreed and people have always spoken passionately and publically about their beliefs about the direction in which our nation should go. So why then does all the derision so evident in media (public, corporate, social) feel me with such pessimism? Shouldn’t I be able to allay my fears by saying, “Look Jeff, Americans have always disagreed. We’ll be fine!”

Maybe I’m just tired tonight and tomorrow will bring with it some morning-star-spangled optimism. Here’s hoping.

I wrote a Facebook post today based on a Fox “News” story about Obama lowering the flags to half-mast for the Chattanooga Five after being “pressured to do so” by “real” Americans. Here’s what I wrote:

“American servicemembers are dying all the time, you assholes! You gonna keep Old Glory at half-mast? How are these lives worth more than my brothers and sisters we left in Iraq and Afghanistan? The Chattanooga Five are casualties in this War on Terror you can’t take a breath without alluding to. You’re a bunch of partisan jerks and you’re right, the country is going to hell but not because the POTUS kept protocol by letting our colors fly high to honor of our war dead (until, in your words, you “pressured” him not to) but because you REFUSE to educate yourselves. Isn’t that why we fight supposedly, to keep that flag and the principles for which it stands held high? 
If you like, I can introduce you to a lot of parents and spouses of American Servicemebers who also died at the hands of Islamic extremism and you can explain to THEM why you didn’t rise up in similar fashion to honor their loved ones by lowering our flags.”

My major problem with the whole thing was that– well, it’s kind of hard to explain. Part of it is my problem with the term “War on Terror” and what that means to our nation and especially what it means in terms of risking the lives of our servicemembers. I believe this rhetoric has its roots in greed and has nothing to do with security. In fact, I wholly believe the plan that has been orchestrated by those who profit so ridiculously from war– you know what? I’m not going through all that again. The smart people get it and the stupid people won’t. Period.

I had some guy comment on my post punctuating every declarative sentence with a question mark and using no capitalization. He’s introductory volley was, “Your [sic] a democrat I take it………………” That’s right, “Your” not “you’re,” no capitalization of the word Democrat, and I don’t know what the succession of 18 periods is supposed to mean. But you and I both know the spirit of his less-than-skillful supposition. I criticized those who criticized the President so I must be one of “them.” He needs to shove me into his little box so he doesn’t have to do the work of listening to anything I have to say. He also doesn’t have to hurt his wittle brain deciding what to think about me or my political opinions or anything else. Fox News has told him what to think of me and my opinions– case closed.

America has become a place of lazy thinkers. Rarely do you find a venue for intelligent public discourse because everyone approaches their politics like they do their sport team loyalties. “I know my team’s colors and our mascot and what we yell at the other side and that’s all I need to know.”

The point of my post was that I believe those 6 to be among our war dead in the war against Islamic Fundamentalism/Extremism– and we do not lower the flag for casualties of war. If we did, the flag would stay at half-mast for the entire time the nation was at war! But since it’s Obama and since he’s a Democrat and since blah, blah, blah. I guaran-goddamn-tee you if a Republican president had refused to lower the flag for the same reason that I just gave, he’d be hailed as a hero by the same rednecks who are ready to run Obama out of town on a rail.

I’m not a Democrat. As a matter of fact, I am an Independent. And I am growing increasingly disenchanted with this whole “best government money can buy” approach to governance at all. It is heartbreaking to be here in the American South and see so many examples of people who are rushing headlong toward their own demise at the behest of the ultra-wealthy! You’d think it was 1860! They continue to vote against their best interest and besmear the very ones who are their chief advocates if they’d only look at the larger picture. But that’s not happening– because the commercial’s over and Fox News is back on the air.

See y’all tomorrow.

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