2018 Essay 4: (10/27/2018) “A House Divided Once More”


lincolnjun16-640x587.jpg

 

“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

- Sinclair Lewis

 

"A house divided against itself cannot stand." I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided."

- Abraham Lincoln

 

I think we need a man like President Lincoln right now.

Hell, maybe we need a man like Ronald Reagan at this point. At least The Gipper knew how to calm a situation down and get different sides to sit down and talk. I may not like the man’s politics, but at least I didn’t feel like he was actively trying to get us all killed. He did some things I’ll never forgive, union busting and his horrendous economic policy to name just two. But if he were here right now, he wouldn’t be saying we should have armed guards in religious buildings and be refusing to condemn the activities of the extreme right.

But what about Obama and Clinton?

Don’t I wish they were here now?

No.

When it comes to Obama, I think his very presence inflames the maniacs on the right. They hate him, and because of that, his presence in the middle of all of this would only serve to whip the Trumpeters up into a worse fury. Personally, I like Obama. I think he did an admirable job under impossible conditions. Don’t get me wrong. I have significant issues with his foreign military policy and the fact that he didn’t prosecute anyone responsible for the 2008 financial collapse. But being the first non-Caucasian President of the United States was never going to be easy on him, but he walked the path and still maintained his dignity and sense of humor. No, Obama is doing the best thing he can right now. He’s campaigning for Democratic candidates and working to ensure the congress flips on November 6th.

As to William Jefferson Clinton, no, just no. Even if Hillary was not the most polarizing figure on the Democratic side of the fight, he is still not a good person. I don’t care how charismatic and personable he might be the man has done some slimy shit in his life both on the persona and national levels. Slick Willy needs to stay retired and quiet. The same goes for his wife and the entire Bush family.

The old guard needs to exit stage I don’t give a fuck and never come back.

I may not know who we need, but I know who we don’t. We never needed President Donald J. Trump.

In less than two weeks we will have the most critical elections since the days of the American Civil War. We’re sitting on an unstable powder keg of fear, hate, and ignorance built and destabilized by decades of greed and selfishness.

What do I mean by this?

From the end of world war, two until the late 1970’s America saw nothing but continual progress on the social and economic fronts. Oh sure, there were hiccups and backslides, especially in the Vietnam years, but we always came out better off in the end. Each generation was freer and more prosperous than the one before.

So, what the hell happened?

In 1976 (the year you esteemed writer was born by the way) the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Buckley v. Valeo that money equals speech. That was the poison pill that set all of this madness in motion. The madness which was established in stone by the Citizens United ruling in 2010.

Because of these rulings corporations and the rich have been able to flat out by politicians who then work only for their donors. Why would a Senator or Representative care what the average voter thinks when they are entirely, or almost entirely, funded by a few individuals or groups? Because of this, they push forward the agendas of some vile people. People who use, money, propaganda, and violence to keep us divided and at one another's throat.

They divide us by gender.

They divide us by race.

They divide us by religion or lack thereof.

They divide us by income.

They divide us by education.

I’m sure most of you, regardless of side, are nodding and agreeing with me right now. We’re in agreement and united in our universal hate and distrust of bankers, lawyers, and politicians. We feel the bonds of being normal everyday Americans once more. It feels good right? The sense that we are a people with shared beliefs and values? Yep, it’s nice to agree.

Too bad I’m about to spoil all of this.

For all practical purposes, we have three groups in America.

There's the right represented by most of the rich, religious, and let's tell the truth and shame the devil the bigots and racists of the Alt-Right. These are the people who consider the right to bear arms a commandment from God. These are the people who want to tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body. These are the people who fetishize the police and the military to a nearly religious level. These are the people who want to make sure LGBTQ people are second class citizens. These are the people who assume anyone not born in the United States is an enemy, and many who were as well. These are the people who cheer tax cuts for the rich and corporations. These are the people who support the destruction of public education. These are the people who turn a blind eye to blatant voter suppression. These are the people who think universal healthcare is from the devil. These are the people who’ve turned the flag into a holy relic and the pledge into scripture. These are the American version of Quislings (look it up, and you’ll understand).

Is everyone on the right bad? No, but I have a tough time finding anything good about the right in America today and the people who support it. Maybe twenty years ago there were good people on the right, but I have to say the events of September 11th, 2001 ended that for the foreseeable future.

Then there’s the left represented by most of the poor and middle class, some of the rich, and some of the religious. These are the young. These are ones pushing for Medicare for all. These are the ones championing free public education. These are the people fighting for the rights of victims, immigrants, minorities, the poor, and the LQBTQ community. These are the people working to have a constitutional amendment ending money in politics. These are the people who care about the environment and are trying to do something about climate change. These are the men and women who want a level playing field for all.

Are the members of the left saints and altruistic heroes?

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Sorry, I had to laugh at my own question. The left is made up of people with their own biases and blind spots. While I feel the objectives and methods of the left are more honest and ethical than the right, I’m not an idiot. The left is made up of people just like the right, and every person is flawed.

Finally, there are the cowards. These are the people who won’t take a side. These are the people who proclaim both sides are equal because they are too scared to defend their true beliefs and positions. These are the people who either refuse to vote or when they do they are wishy-washy on the reasons and if the winds change immediately decry their own vote. These are the people who bitch and whine about everything that happens, and when you confront them, they scream that voting is pointless and that nothing is their responsibility.

No, before you ask, I’m not going to dive into the Libertarians and Communists. I have severe issues with both of these small groups, but I’ll be honest, at the moment they’re not very relevant. Maybe in the future but not now.

We vote on November 6th, 2018 and it’s the most critical vote of any of our lives. I’m not going to tell you who to vote for or who not to vote for. I think my personal beliefs are apparent, but I won’t be telling you what to do. All I want you to do is vote, exercise your fundamental right and duty as a citizen of the United States of America and vote.

Comment

Josh Hilden

When I was born on August 3, 1976 in the great state of Michigan the hills shook and the sky was swept with fire. These were portents of the greatness for my future that was written in the stars ... I'm still waiting for that greatness. My name is Josh Hilden and I am many things. I am a husband, a father, a son, a friend. These are all important things but at my core I am an artist and the medium that I work in is words. I am a writer of Horror, Science Fiction, Drama, and Role Playing Games. I worked for Palladium Books (www.palladiumbooks.com) and Third Eye Games (www.thirdeyegames.net) before striking out on my own and founding a small press publishing company Gorillas with Scissors Press (www.gwspress.com). I also work for Fat Goblin Games (www.fatgoblingames.com). In the everyday world I can be found spending time with my family and friends. I have been married to my lovely wife Karen since 1996 and we have six amazing children. We tend to be a family of unabashed geeks and gamers who were geek before geek was chic. If you are really interested in me I am very active online with a personal and a writing blog along with a plethora of social media outlets. If you have any questions or just want to chat hit me up!