The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 34: Independence

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July 4, 2020-

This morning, as I stirred my brain, I noticed that someone had stomped away from this page in anger, over what apparently was my disagreeing with those who see things strictly in black and white terms. (No pun intended).

I’ve always marched to my own drummer, and have seen no contradiction between the fierce independence and love for tradition of the conservative and the unconditional love and inclusivity of the progressive. It’s always the extremists, the disquiet ones-often, but not always, self-centered and self-absorbed, who wheedle their way in and among those on both sides of the aisle-and sow doubt.

I don’t buy their wares. I personally share all four of the traits mentioned above. As I’ve mentioned many times, my upbringing made this second nature. There is a hole in my heart, right now, in feeling that each side, more than ever, feels shut out by the other AND is more than willing to “simplify” matters, by reacting in kind.

Regarding historical figures, I remind one and all that every person who has ever lived is a complex, imperfect and not universally-loved figure. Public figures are all the more subject to this. Abrahma Lincoln, for example, was as enlightened on the subject of race, as a Midwesterner of the mid-Nineteenth Century could be expected to be. He opposed the expansion of slavery into Kansas, saw that slavery was an organically dying institution in the North, and thus focused his Emancipation Proclamation on the Confederacy-both to crash its economy and to release people from bondage. We have no idea how Reconstruction would have played out, had he lived through his second term. Yet, those who rush to judgment point out his having said that Blacks would never be equal to Whites (Lincoln-Douglas Debate, 1858) was proof of his undying disdain for the Black race. The eminent historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr., however, leaves the door open, seeing the 16th President as being on “an upward arc”, with regard to his views on the subject. (“Lincoln On Race and Slavery”).

Here, for good measure, is also an assessment of his 1862 condemnation to death, of 38 (out of the 300 who were convicted) Santee Sioux warriors, in the aftermath of the Mankato Massacre. While not exactly sympathetic to their particular case, he was beginning to pay attention to the degradation being suffered by the Plains tribes. Again, it may be argued that he was on an “upward arc”. Then came Booth.

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/300-santee-sioux-sentenced-to-hang-in-minnesota

I maintain my own independence of both left and right, and seek only to grow further in the light. If I disagree with anyone’s baser points of view, it is for that reason alone. I love you all, regardless.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 31: Halfway Mark

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July 1, 2020-

The year masquerading a decade is halfway gone. I see my preferred candidate for president is back-going to be with families who have lost a loved one, to show support. I see there is no end to the egoism and snarkiness of people who claim to be in the avant-garde (There is no such thing, in reality). I see no end to the rage and mayhem that are on the agenda of extremists. I see that schools will be closed here, until mid-August. I see that the wisest of parents are letting their children breathe fresh air and get a goodly amount of sunshine. I see people are arguing, because that is the only thing that seems permissible in the name of fighting the virus.

My Cosmic Advisor says to focus on what we are for, not what we are against. So, I am for microgreens; hydroponic food projects; grassroots efforts to tutor and safeguard children; listening to one another-without feeling the need to one-up or dominate; taking natural supplements; supporting troubled pregnant women and teen girls-so that they don’t subject themselves and their babies to abortion; relieving police officers of both their need to use excessive force and their being required to perform social counseling services-because the designated social agencies are too caught up in office politics and stroking the egos of their agency heads; supporting local small businesses; people learning new skills.

The year that is masquerading as a decade is halfway done. There are many things which I support.

Two Candles

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May 8, 2020-

On a Zoom call, this evening, the moderator put forth a telling message:  “It is not necessary for me to put out your candle, so that mine may burn brighter.”

Cynics may counter-“Too many lights put each other out.”

I beg to differ.  Life is not a zero sum game.  Some conservatives want a world without progressives.  Some progressives can’t wait to rid our planet of conservatives.  I find either prospect an empty one.  There are features, of extremists on both sides, that I find reprehensible-  From the alt-right:  The murder of an African-American jogger, on February 23, by two white men; the drawings of swastikas and nooses; “Rassus” jokes, told by both whites and Native Americans; ANY hint that one race is superior to another. From the extreme left:  The caricatures of conservatives as knuckle-dragging hominids; ANY defense of pedophilia (which occurs among both liberals and conservatives, by the way); advocacy of wholesale slaughter of those in power.

I’ve covered the need for an array of responsible viewpoints, in an earlier post.  So, I will end with this:  I know plenty of respectable, responsible and loving people, on both sides of the chasm.  I know plenty of decent, morally sound people, among all ethnicities, economic levels, creeds and ways of life.  My candle doesn’t need yours to be snuffed out, in order for it to shine brightly.  Come on home.