Yesterday, something happened in my country I never thought would happen. Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President. This has put the “right wing” (conservative) of the political spectrum in complete power of our government leaving those of us who support the “left wing” (liberal) scratching our heads in bewilderment. This election has brought to a head a culture war that has building steam for decades and now the venom is so intense that I don’t see any immediate solution other than to hope that the fractious Republican Party and their mentally unstable leader will continue the internal meltdown that has been going on for decades. And that would be a Pyrrhic victory as our country desperately needs a viable conservative voice.
I am one of those who has always been cursed with seeing at least two sides to every conflict, and sometimes more. In this intense battle of collective wills, I’m passionately behind the liberal cause but I have been in the conservative camp for about half of my life and can see things their way. I see that they have every right to see things through what I would call their very narrow view point but we liberals have the right to see things through our less narrow view point. And here is where religion has gotten involved as conservatives have an enthusiastic support from evangelical Christians and their interpretation of their faith grants them the firm conviction that their view of the world, including politics, is “right” because God is leading them. I owe a lot to this background of religious fervor and understand the ardor. It provides the basis of my very deep current faith though that ardor of my youth has taken a different direction which allows me to see that God is “big” enough to include different perspectives on this and all matters. (God is so “big” that words like “big” are foolish!”)
Being right is such a pyrrhic victory. For “right” is always determined by an external reference point and eventually one group’s definition of the term conflict gets in the way with another’s. (Sounds a bit like marriage huh?) Any group, any cause that gets too carried away with being “right” brings to my mind Isis; for there we have an example of what happens when “right” is carried to an extreme. Isis has absolutely no doubt that “god” is leading them.
Here I have not provided an answer. That is because I don’t have one. And that brings to my mind the profound wisdom of T. S. Eliot:
I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing. (Four Quartets)