Ideas for my writing projects come from the strangest places. I’ve been considering a multitude of topics for several days. This idea snuck in with my first sip of coffee this morning.
I’d been considering a myriad of titles for this piece, but none of them seemed to convey the inanity. Dystopian authors don’t even stretch the limits of neglect and shortsightedness that we have in America.
After my third or fourth sip of coffee, a phrase came to mind: from the sublime to the ridiculous.
In ‘The Age of Reason,’ Thomas Paine wrote in 1795: “The sublime and the ridiculous are often so nearly related that it is difficult to class them separately. One step above the sublime makes the ridiculous, and one step above the ridiculous makes the sublime again.”
To explain: from the sublime to the ridiculous – means things change from something very serious or stable to something silly or unimportant.
That’s the theme for this post.
We took the sublime idea of a Representative Republic and elevated it, adulterated it – from the sublime to the ridiculous. We didn’t stop there; we set about unraveling the fabric of this country thread by thread.
I considered using this phrase as the title; then, I realized that I intended to discuss the absurdity of what America’s become, maybe more appropriately, how we’ve bastardized the nearly perfect concept of the representative republic into what can be best described as a ‘Banana Republic.’
I think I’ll begin with an excerpt from my favorite hymnal.
- Absurdity – absurd:
- utterly or obviously senseless, illogical, or untrue; contrary to all reason or common sense; laughably foolish or false:
- wildly unreasonable, illogical, or inappropriate.
When the minority dictates to the majority, it’s absurd. When the majority welcomes that demand and adopts it, we transition from the sublime to the ridiculous.
I find it absurd that we as a country cannot move forward, move past the major hurdles we’ve already conquered without becoming hopelessly entangled. But, in America, continuous improvement implies destruction and ultimate abandonment. We can’t stop ourselves from improving something until it no longer works – then ignoring it.
A monarchy oppressed us from the beginning when we were just colonies. Eventually, we became so indignant that we fought a costly war for our independence. We unlocked the shackles of colonial bondage, only to slip into the purview of nationalism. We discovered what all nations inevitably do, that war provides fiscal prosperity – birthing the Military Industrial Congressional Complex.
The world of banking has embraced this for many thousands of years. Rulers throughout history have borrowed money to wage wars. The only real winners are the banks – The World Bank.
This supported cottage industries that hammered out the weapons. These small makers became massive arms manufacturers stoking the fires of global conquest. Better weapons meant more efficient war, which of course, cost more money.
Wash, Rinse, Repeat.
Our declaration of independence announced – all men to be equal with inalienable rights. It was our founding document. Over a period of 188 years, we managed to define this equality albeit arduously, finally arriving at the Civil Rights Act in 1964. Like every step forward in this country, this was a costly process. Something we’ve no interest in remembering or even acknowledging.
We have no use for history – it reminds us of our failures, that we could have done better, made better decisions, more intelligent choices. We’re too busy to think about that now, so on to the next conquest.
The year 2009 began the unraveling of all that work. It only took eight years and the concerted efforts of Prez #44 to obliterate the gains, tumbling us back to the 1940s era of racial divisiveness. We’ve salvaged a few scraps of self-respect, but the hate campaign against Prez #45 eradicated any progress.
Americans thrive on hatred. It fuels nearly everything we do. It certainly captures our attention through the politically partisan press. They beguile us through trickery and flattery. It’s our distraction from the mundane.
Hate is now a religion practiced by hundreds of millions in America. Various sects like BLM and the 1619 Project are now indelible stains on the fabric of this country, with acolytes and apostles lurking in every corner of cyberspace waiting to pounce, defame, and cancel anyone that refuses to genuflect. Worst yet, it is bent toward completely eradicating anything American in favor of homogeneity – sameness – social equity.
The ‘Rights’ movements play on hatred garnering attention for their weak platforms and self-serving causes for recognition. When that acclaim finally arrives, it quickly wanes, requiring more self-aggrandizement and controversy to rekindle the flames. This most powerful spark is the allegation of hate.
Adjacent to these renewed sectarian hate cults is the fervor favoring racial segregation. Dr. ML King Jr. argued that character is a preeminent factor regarding equality. Yet, the minions of hatred proffer curricula discarding this incontrovertible assertion citing the primacy of color rather than personal character by advancing Critical Race Theory (CRT).
Scholars of CRT contend that race is not “biologically grounded and natural”; instead, it is a socially constructed category used to oppress and exploit people of color; and that racism is not an aberration but a normalized feature of American society. America is systemically racist.
How absurd to return to the days when people are judged solely on appearance. Turning back the clock serves only those who thrive on discrimination and oppression. What better way to control a country than to fracture it into easily managed groups? Having them malign each other is a viable method to squash any cooperation.
Unanimity was the founding principle of this country – The strength and power of the people. It is how we defeated a professional army from England to secure our liberties and to create this once great nation. It is how we beat Nazi Germany and Japan in WWII.
Our solidarity was our power.
The willful abandonment of our Constitution is ridiculous but unavoidable because, you see, it stands in the way of those who would take control of America for personal gain. This sublime document sets foundational precepts for our society and country; ignoring the Constitution, the law, is ridiculous.
“We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” Ronald Reagan
I want to add that it is impossible to prosecute society or hold them accountable, which is the precise reason we look to blame groups rather than individuals. A conspicuous example is the Clinton regime’s attack on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and subsequent multi-year hate campaign.
Mounting evidence points to a conspiracy of monumental magnitude requiring expert coordination. Who was the mastermind? We may never know because our attention span is measured in news cycles – a matter of 24 hours. Without constant refresh and incessant reminders, we’ll move on to the next shiny object. A politically partisan press ensures misalignment of the story questioning its accuracy and veracity.
Who would you prosecute? Who was behind this treachery? The Durham probe will eventually discover the ringleader of this treason. After nearly eighteen months and hundreds of thousands of pages of documents, filings, testimony, depositions, and evidence, we are just now seeing the extent and depth of this political scandal. Still, we are not even close to knowing Cassius – the lead conspirator.
The complexity of this atrocity prolongs the investigation to the point where America bores of the story, and it will eventually fade from our memory. That is precisely what the perpetrators intend. By the time indictments are filed appropriately, the guilty parties will have died or been exonerated by a sympathetic autocrat, or a higher court will find malfeasance.
The crime is sublime; the result will be ridiculous.
Repetition is sublime; its result is ridiculous.
Here’s my example.
I can remember most of my life, all the way back to childhood. I recall primary principles and morals that are the basis of who I am.
I didn’t accept or realize the extent race played in my life until I was beaten into submission by the onslaught of race-based advertising and rhetoric telling me that I had to be a racist because I was White. Really? Who knew?
I can recall meeting and encountering many ethnicities and nationalities growing up. I lived in a multi-cultural and ethnically diverse world – The Marine Corps. I didn’t realize that the children I played with and their parents were my enemies because they differed. I hadn’t learned that made a difference.
I realize it now. It’s all I hear and see. The message is clear. I was wrong to consider character rather than color in any decision. I’m supposed to see ethnicity first and base my life choices accordingly. The idea of character is sublime; expecting me to abandon reason and adopt this philosophy of racism is ridiculous – preposterous. White supremacy is a construct created to divide and further classify people.
If our only difference is external, we are more shallow than imagined. And, if this is the determining factor in any decision, we are not worthy of the gift of insight. “May it be a light to you in dark places when all other lights go out.” J.R.R. Tolkien
Discernment is sublime; ignorance is ridiculous!