One Year Later

4

January 6, 2022- Epiphany, the recognition of Christ by the Three Magi-or kings from the East, if you wish, either is commemorated today only-or is a season of commemoration unto itself-lasting from today until Ash Wednesday. I stick with the former.

I wonder what we recognize, about our country today- a full year after what, to me, was a reckless, misguided attempt to begin solving deep-seated problems in our society by unilaterally installing-not electing- a claque of self-appointed experts who are used to making executive decisions on important matters. Sometimes, they get it right. Other times, the results, from unintended consequences, are catastrophic.

The delusion is the same, whether the oligarchs rule from the right-or from the left. The nomenclature itself, taken from the French Parlements’ practice of conservatives sitting on the right hand side of the chamber, with liberals sitting on the left hand side, is tellingly simplistic. The very idea, of people who posit opposing ideas being one’s mortal enemies, is so ludicrous as to give ridiculous a good name-but here we are.

A conservative friend did ridicule the comparison of 1-6-21 to the Holocaust, the Pearl Harbor attack and 9-11-01. He’s right, in terms solely of human casualties. He’s wrong, in terms of long-term effect on the democratic process. In each case, authoritarian forces tried to undermine American participatory democracy. Each attack is one in a string of a thousand cuts-regardless of the surface ideology of the assailants. In real terms, authoritarianism is a complete circle; there is no difference between Right and Left, if in each case the boss is always correct. In each case, the attackers draw-and are buttressed by, those on the ground whose grievances are given surface recognition by the wirepullers of the attacks.

The sole antidote to such attacks is for those on the ground to recognize that both sides of the continuum offer solutions to some problems and exacerbate others. This is why we need both sides to hear one another out and think their respective opinions over.

The main entrance to a building is most often in the center of the frame-not tucked away in a corner.