The small town I live in has the Grand River running through it. Near the middle of Michigan, it provides recreation in the form of swimming, boating and it just looks pretty. We are susceptible to flooding, not only in our flatlands but the water has occasionally come up and over the bridge. Our townspeople are accustomed to it and to my knowledge no lives have been lost. Our river lends a peaceful and serene mood to the area. Today however there is a much more dangerous river that runs through every town and straight down the middle of our country.
It's the river of division, apathy and hate. Lifelong relationships have been forsaken, even marriages dissolved over differences grounded in politics. A dilemma? Indeed, but still not the worst of it. One party, seemingly emboldened racism and other isms. The opposing party responded with overreaction, as a matter of course. One party charges, as they do every four years, we are on the cusp of socialism and nothing but a vote for them will save the country. The overreaction: The other party throws up a socialist (no longer in the race) who easily wins over the younger generation with promises of free education, free everything with no acknowledgment of where socialism has led other parts of the world. Sweet Jesus, there is a percentage of Americans that disavow the holocaust. A hoax. Apparently elaborately filmed, propaganda from World War II, that included a back door to the ovens at Auschwitz to provide a safe escape for the actors.
This deadly river is not only fed by misinformation and ignorance but is fortified by those that don’t want to know the truth. Not because of it’s nightmarish reality but because of their lingering hatred of Jews. “My dad and Grampa hated the Jews and that’s good enough for me.” Supporting an argument, even a foolish one no longer calls for explanation. “I’m entitled to my opinion.” Six million Jews being murdered between 1941-1945 was not a liberal snowflake’s opinion. Survivors can still smell burning flesh. They can still hear the deafening screams that went to a great extent unanswered.
The most ignorant, don’t limit their hatred to a particular group. The more they hate, the more they belong. When one is willfully ignorant, there is no need or desire to learn anything. What is more rewarding than to have your corner of the room, where everyone wholeheartedly agrees with and applauds your bigotry.
The other side of the political coin knows how to slyly handle this situation. “Open the borders, that’ll show’em.” “Let’em riot, they’ve got that comin’.” That it pisses off the opposing party, is not simply a bonus but part of the plan.” I am sixty-eight years old and very happy to be on the B side of this record. I don’t envy eighteen year olds that must navigate the river rapids, not one little bit.