Featured image by Alejandro Slocker. Follow the link for more of this artist’s work.
History is an interesting teacher, the lessons oft repeated, yet seldom learned. It may very well be that our inherent human nature is just too much for concepts like liberty, freedom, and individuality to forever keep at bay. When powerful institutions arise, our inherent human nature is to seek that power and glory for ourselves. We have an inner desire to be powerful, to be recognized, to, in a sense, be immortalized by our actions.
From the days of Ancient Greece, humans have dealt with mortality, glory, and legacy. Those battles, those questions, that longing, it still lives in us today.
When faced with decisions, particularly those of our own mortality, we run a subliminal calculus, an internal cost-benefit analysis that runs almost instantly, and becomes very hard to change once run. History often repeats this trope, time and time again. Folk tales, legends, plays, and movies show the consequences of trying to avoid some fated action, be it avoiding an enemy, a prophecy, or a plague.
We just gave the Taliban an air force and close to one hundred BILLION dollars worth of materiel. In our efforts to end the forever war, we may have sown the seeds of another war. We as a nation have abandoned American citizens in Afghanistan, leaving them to the “tender mercies” of a bunch of religious extremists. Our legacy will be one of shame, and all sides bear a portion of blame. Those who voted against Trump installed a feckless leader whose so obsessed with not being his predecessor and believing that he is the smartest one in the room that he has allowed for our fellow citizens to be stranded in hostile territory, with their names on a list given to the Taliban.
To those who voted for Trump, your arguments to the undecided voters were not enough. While this may not be the president you wanted, it’s the one you got. Instead of talking rationally to one another, we engaged the mewling, vicious mockeries of the far-left with as much venom as they produced. We hurled insults when we should have been turning the other cheek. We sunk to their level, and failed to realize that the media, big tech, universities, and many corporations were all too eager to back the Democrats. We were exposed to just how much institutional capture has occurred. And we realized that we cannot hope to win unless we realize we’re fighting a culture war.
I don’t know what will come of the next three years and change of the Biden Administration. I wonder if all of the fallout of inflation, Afghanistan, the obvious move toward Stalinistic tendencies, and the continued mental decline will force him out, or if he resigns. I’m pessimistic that Biden will finish out his term. I’m pessimistic that this country won’t fracture into distinct political factions and that the cold civil war becomes very, very hot. All I can hope for is that we finally hit the point of saturation, where our lust for blood and violence has been sated and that normal people can come together and rebuild the ideological bridges between the much deeper fissures in our country.
But we must remember that the more we try to avoid our problems, the more likely they will be to confront us.