Our New Year has began with some harsh reality’s that are simply extensions of 2020. Three thousand United States citizens are dying each day of Covid19. The political unrest and unprecedented attack on our Capitol were in planning for sometime. We have empirical evidence that many of our elected leaders not only will lie to us but that they realize they are lying to us. Some of these elected leaders have confessed that they realize that they are lying but fear that if they tell the truth that their life may be in jeopardy.
We will succeed in overcoming our pandemic. As vaccines become more available we finally will be able to put the 2020 pandemic in our rearview mirror in 2021. We can go down the rocky road of continuing to demonize our neighbor who does not politicaly agree with us…or at it has been said…’How is that working out for you?’ The reality of our present distress is that there are people of good will on both sides of the political aisle. We must begin talking with each other. One of the many beauties of higher education, for me, was my exposure to a diversity of views and opinions and people. I discovered that the myopic views and conspiracy theories that I had heard regarding people that were different from me…were lies grown out of ignorance and fear.
Life is stretched out before us with all of the possibilities for our peace and happiness. Our New Year can be wonderful or terrible…and much of the future is up to us. I love news and presidential happenings…and I have been a fan of both since I was a child. I remember when CNN was created and my being overjoyed that there was 24 hour news. I soon realized that the 24 hours of news contained much repetition. I have discovered that it is healthy to step away from the news…from time to time.
Haters are going to hate! When bullies causes their fellow students to bow down to their will, out of fear, they increase the scope of their bizarre demands. I have known more than one authoritarian leader who were little strongmen in their own right. Attempts at placating them resulted in increased dictatorial behavior.
Narcissism does not have strange bedfellows…it has no bedfellows. In the same month that I began my career at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale…the Jonestown Massacre transpired. This was a seminal event for me and an eye opener. Hundreds of people drank poison laden kool-aid and went willingly to their deaths for their cults leader, Jim Jones. Reverend Jones had ruled his congregation with such draconian measures as publicly berating them and physically spanking them during church services. As each increasingly restrictive and abusive order came from Jones…the demands became normalized…until finally the demand of the groups lives, including the lives of their children, illustrating that the unimaginable can become reality.
I rejoiced when I watched a Capitol Police Officer lead a group of the insurrectionist away from the Senate…putting his life at risk! Tears came to my eyes when former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was born in Austria two years after World War II, spoke about the similarities between the attempted coup at the Capitol and Kristallnacht or the Night of Broken Glass.