I Got Nothing
Fear-mongering on terrorism? Not exactly new. We’re all gonna die from Ebola-poisoned radicals streaming over the Mexican border? Of course we are. The President hates the troops because he salutes with a coffee cup in his hand, even though he’s a civilian and shouldn’t be saluting at all? Makes sense to me.
The world is a messy complicated place. It’s also a wonderful place. Did you know that violent crime rates continue to drop to levels we haven’t seen in decades? That our streets, our homes, our parks, our schools are safer than they have been since before I was born? No? It’s true. Did you know that we now have so many robotic explorers in all parts of near-outer-space, and are learning more about nearby planets, asteroids, moons, even comets, in just a few hours than we have in all human history up to this moment? No? It’s true. Did you know scientists working on teleportation have managed to teleport a photon 25 kilometers; have created a shape-shifting metal; have discovered that bouncing microwaves inside a box provides propulsion in space. These are all things that make living right now exciting. These are things that make the world wonderful, that make the future bright, that give me hope that my children and grandchildren will experience wonders about which I can’t even imagine.
On the other hand, as I wrote at the top, our politicians think we’re stupid. We have a 24-hour news channel dedicated to making American even more stupid, even more inept at foreign and domestic policy, and even more divided on matters of race, gender, and class. There are whole websites that vomit out lies about everything from where Barack Obama was born to his secret Muslim Brotherhood agenda to toss Christians in to concentration camps. I realize this all sounds ludicrous, but there are thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of people who really and truly believe this. Scott Brown, running for United States Senate in New Hampshire against incumbent Jeanne Shaheen, has a television ad accusing the President of the United States of allowing the US to become so vulnerable that Islamic terrorists are about to pour over the border from Mexico. Here in Illinois, perpetual Republican candidate Jim Oberweis is running against incumbent Dick Durbin. Recently, the Rockford Register Star ran a story in which Oberweis spoke about meeting with African-American religious leaders on the southside and westside of Chicago. Now, that is wonderful that a Republican met with church leaders, particularly in troubled areas of one of our major cities. It’s great that he got to hear ideas, plans, programs, needs, and offered his vision of his role as United States Senator from Illinois to these religious leaders. But more than seven seconds of thought should convince anyone that even if Oberweis is sincere in his desire to create partnerships between the federal government and local religious leaders to help poverty-stricken and crime-stricken areas, it doesn’t matter one bit because not a single Republican at the national level has expressed a willingness to do any such thing. Why these religious leaders would lend support to someone, with whom they might even agree on many issues, who will deliver exactly zero promises, while the current incumbent continues to work with these same local leaders to get money and programs to help them, is quite beyond my capacity to understand.
So, I got nothing. I see a glass overflowing with wonderful things, with possibilities and promise and hope and a world that is slowly learning to cooperate in dealing with everything from internal national conflicts to international terrorism to eradicating deadly diseases. These are real things I’m seeing. But it’s impossible to get anyone else to see them. I don’t know why. It isn’t like I’m hopeless; just the opposite. Today, this morning, I see all the wonderful news yet all I read and hear is how awful things are and it just doesn’t gel with my experience. So, fear-monger away. Tell us all how we’re all going to die. Despair for the future. Shoot, support a candidate for public office who will achieve the exact opposite of what is being promised. What difference does it make to me? At some point reality will kick in and while some will always listen to the chicken little’s of this world, most folks will shake their heads and realize they just got conked on the head by an acorn, laugh at themselves for being silly, and continue walking through the park.