I am a fan of politics, and a bigger fan of political philosophy. I know that doesn't describe most of you...so please skip to the cute animal video that is only a few posts away...I get it.
There is so much anger, hate, turmoil, violence in our news feeds that I feel like we are drinking from a poisoned well. We live in a society of Orks. We are surrounded by the hyena horde of the Lion King.
The answer seems to be "escape." This week escape means to find your Pokemon Go gym; cuddle around the endorphin of exercise and a high score. Or, you can escape further still. Just unplug. Wear your cap low or your hoodie high. Maybe its time for a Netflix marathon month.
For some the answer seems an unending stream of platitudes, preachy themes, screen saver memes. "Fill In the Blank" Lives Matter.
Isn't it exhausting to stay up to date with the politically correct theme of the day? Should I put a flag over my profile pic or not? Should I "like" every meme or not? Should I be like Jim Carey in Bruce Almighty confronted by overwhelming prayers; first try Post-Its, then just say "Yes" to everything.
Can we STOP?
What do you BELIEVE?
What is TRUE?
What matters THE MOST?
Has anyone read the "The 5000 Year Leap" by Cleon Skousen? If not, please scan pages 4-6, and the Table of Contents. The Amazon link is below.
I was having a chat with a friend about politics and the objective of fighting for true freedom. I said, few if any of our institutions today reflect the ideals of freedom; but, the answer isn't to steamroll the world with a strong man, just as it is not to capitulate to global power brokers, divide the pie and give everyone just a little slice of freedom.
To break free, to live life purposefully, to experience happiness and fulfillment, we must begin by acknowledging and celebrating together the principles and values that yield freedom. We must declare what we believe, what we know is true, and what matters the most.
You do not have to look far to see what complete lack of freedom looks like. The fear of gun violence on children's faces in inner city Chicago; the eyes of young women in Syria raped repeatedly by ISIS; the hungry masses in Venezuela waiting for food on empty shelves. What do they believe? What do they know is true? What matters the most to them?
We are all surrounded by the Orks and the Hyenas and the answer to the question is not what team are you on? Its not who you paid for protection today? Its not what program delivered you a loaf and a bottle of water?
The answer begins by knowing what you are, how you fit in, what is your purpose, and what are the principles and values that propel you to take step after step after step every day.
I believe we have enjoyed a period of unprecedented freedom and prosperity in America because we were rooted in the same core principles and values. But read the comments of any forum today and you will find the soul-less tripe of an Ork or Hyena scoffing at principles and values, gouging out love and hope and leaving a polluted vapor trail of hate, discord and swirls of sarcasm.
Chaos and mayhem have no political party and no loyalty to any one point of view. The Ork and the Hyena are anarchist. They are utilitarian, they are egotistical, they are self-centered, they are opportunist, they are the spawn of demons. They are our common enemy and they bring us fear, anger, hate and death.
How do we fight a common enemy? First we look in the mirror. Second we declare who is the enemy. Third we bind ourselves to our fellow man, we doff our caps, pull back our hoodies, we agree in public to declare our principles and values, and form an alliance to defend and promote the values we share in common.
I am not naive. America began as an idea among dissidents, philosophers and monks centuries before 1776. The Orks and Hyenas will die of old age before they will permit good people to live in peace. It may take more than a generation to extinguish the flames.
But the responsibility to fight for those principles regardless of the personal outcome is the right answer.
In my chat, I was asked about the term "endorsement." In my view, we must guard against binding ourselves to parties and institutions whose brand is a reaction but not a solution. I can support policy whose outcome is consistent with my values, such as enforcing law, defending our borders; but I cannot endorse leadership that has the wrong philosophy. Support is about agreement. Endorsement is about belief.
I read "The Five Thousand Year Leap" again. Unless you loathe history, or prefer revisionist versions of it, you will find this book to be a straight arrow of reflection on the principles and values that we as countrymen once agreed upon. They are the principles and values I firmly believe.
I am seeking a community of friends, family and acquaintances with whom I can agree and declare without reservation our basic beliefs, truths and what is most important, so that we may live in freedom again. Yes, so we can make America great again.
I am not looking for "likes" unless you know about the 28 Great Ideas that changed the world and are willing to set aside party and political correctness to stand for what you believe to be true.