photo provided by Mark Hoynes | Flickr Creative Commons
A few months ago, I joked with a neighbor that if the NSA hacked into my Samsung TV and wanted to listen to me, some analyst would only hear me shouting, “Stop wailing on each other.” Because, being brothers, my two boys’ arguments are frequently settled with fists.
When news alerts blasted that there was a shooting at the GOP congressional baseball practice last Wednesday, I paused. A friend played for the team and he and his staff were probably on that field. (Thank goodness they were all safe.)
Later that afternoon, the world saw a hate-filled Facebook page from someone who decided it was “Time to Destroy Trump & Co.” And, like my pre-adolescent boys, he resorted to violence as an outlet for misdirected, nebulous anger. Shortly after the shooting, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) tweeted something that I have preached since 2010: “We must address the seeming anger of so many Americans with a caring spirit and action for their basic needs. We must heal this Nation.”
We — as Americans, as a society, as rational adults — must address the anger in this country. We must address it quickly.
We have largely brought this on ourselves. Too many of us seek some sort of impossible ideological purity when we go to the polls. We elevate the inflammatory talking heads to the best-seller list. We click through to dubious websites and inflate their profitability, forcing them to “report” even more outrageous (and truly) fake news. We have blithely cheapened words with very serious meanings such as “hate,” “treason,” and “revolution.”
Forget the rhetoric about Obamacare: This hyper-partisanship is our nation’s true death spiral.
I’ve written about this several times before (notably in the aftermath of last year’s North Carolina Republican office firebombing), and I’m writing about this again:
- We must…