Civil War. It’s a term irresponsibly bandied about as of late, and unfortunately it’s not in reference to that awesome song from Guns N’ Roses. Which if you haven’t heard, you should. I fully recommend it, kind of like I do Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall. But, hey…slow down! This isn’t a post about the healing power of rock and roll, as cool as that would be. Rather, it’s about all these bad vibes man. I mean, at this point you’ve probably noticed the simmering “Cold War” like tension brewing between people of differing political ideologies who, unlike Rodney King, just can’t seem to get along. I mean, whatever happened to Bobby McFerrin’s don’t worry, be happy? Meanwhile, you’ve got all these well-funded celebrities and establishment overlords on the Left and Right who wander around smackin’ their gums and shaking their fists at the sky, all while practically praying for some politician to smite their foes with hellfire and brimstone. Yeah. Seriously. Ridiculous. And I’m like Stealers Wheel when they said, “clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right”…except here I am as a libertarian. Stuck in the middle with you.
I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that people haven’t really learned anything from history. Especially when it comes to the power elites on the Left and the Right wittingly or unwittingly taking old ideas, giving them a little dust off, and painting them up with a new disguise. Perhaps if more of us had been taught how to think, and have a deeper understanding of the repeated mistakes, terrible wars, and the tragic scale of human suffering throughout history, we’d be a little less enthusiastic about our attempts to bash the daylights out of someone we don’t like. And no, I didn’t forget about that majestic and infallible governmental enterprise known as public stool…er…school. While our parents sent us away for convenient baby-sitting, we all learned how dull history could be when compared to the more immediate pursuit of popularity amongst our peers.
But as someone who has spent countless hours studying various time period in history, I can confidently say that we have absolutely zero understanding of the degree of terror and utter depravity that has taken place when people can’t figure out how to live together. Irregardless of which side of the fence you might think you sit on, you’re still sitting here in a society relatively free from disease and death, sipping fancy coffees or munching potato chips while playing Halo. Sure, you might think it’s fun to light your keyboards on fire with all kinds of vitriol, spit on people you don’t like, flip someone the bird for having the wrong bumper sticker, or write articles for Mother Jones or Huff Post that talk about how stupid people are who don’t agree with your enlightened and oh-so-tolerant view, but honestly. You and I simply have no idea the amount of suffering some of our ancestors experienced when things went really bad. Take the American “civil war” for example. It was a war of losers, as all wars are, with effects that are still felt to this day. But ultimately, people just couldn’t figure out how to peacefully resolve their problems. The politicians and media darlings of the day just kept flinging poo on their neighbors at every chance they got, until finally it turned into a huge, horrific mess in which 600,000 to a million people (including civilians) lost their lives.
So on a final note, I guess what I’m saying is that like Guns N’ Roses, I don’t need your civil war. It feeds the rich while it buries the poor. Yeah, we don’t have to like each other, or be forced to join hands and sing kumbaya. And just like people do all the time in the real world, maybe we can even part ways if our relationship isn’t working out. But whatever the case, we’d all be a lot happier if we stopped behaving like a bunch of whiney little jerks. Go ahead. Just put a little love in your heart…
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