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The Luxury of Peace

I look around the world at the war ravaged lands and the displaced people nobody wants and know with chilling certainty that war is coming to America. We’ve waged enough, incited enough, sold arms to enough that if war comes to our land from foreign shores it should come as no surprise.

But the likeliest war to be fought in this country is one for the soul of our freedom. We are at a crossroads, and can see the road that lies beyond. We are at that juncture that historians will point to and say, “Here’s where it all went wrong.”

Now, I could have chosen an earlier time in our country’s fabled past as one of those pivots on which history hangs with equal accuracy, but the starkness between our lofty aims and our hateful reality hasn’t been so blinding since the fire hoses were unloosed and the dogs unleashed. Back then, we retreated from the precipice and the finer side of our humanity prevailed.

We have politicians openly championing racism and exclusionary immigration policies that would have prevented their ancestors from washing up onto Ellis Island. We have whole swaths of our population raising their hands in Hitler salutes and spewing hate that only a few years ago would have been unthinkable --- at least to those to whom such thoughts are repugnant (clearly not the moral majority we had hoped predominated among us).

We are like a rabid animal gnawing off its leg, trying desperately to destroy that part of itself that gives offense.

Until we realize that we all contributed to what has made America great, we will never be able to make it greater.

We are at a crossroads, and we can either choose peace or war. We are blind to our place in history – on top of the world one moment and a mere memory the next. Right now we have the luxury of peace and the opportunity for more rationale heads to prevail on our divided populace. How long will we languish in that luxury? Probably for far too short a time.

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