It’s a New Year. Time to get a few things straight, right off the bat. Here’s one: If I hear the Kum-Ba-Yah Credo (KBYC) one more time related to politics, I’m gonna throw up.
Heard that credo? It’s a reaction to all the heat and smoke and prickliness surrounding politics. Usually issued during or right after election season by good people who mean well, the typical KBYC bemoans all the “division” within the nation and how “we continue to add to that division on a daily basis” to “create a false sense security for some and downright hatred for others.” It may also opine:
We think we are helping, we are informing the misinformed, we are standing up for what we believe in, its the American way….right?? In reality all we are really doing is pointing fingers at the “other side” and tearing them down. So, who exactly is the other side right now? Apparently it’s white, black, male, female, transgender, straight, gay, republican, democrat, Christian, non-Christian and even law enforcement. It all depends on where you are standing. The truth is that everyone of these groups contains beautiful, loving, and compassionate souls standing right next to the haters and the violators.…
We are now saying, “hey you, good person….you’re choosing to stand in line with the haters and therefore you are guilty by association”. Well guess what? That is EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US! We all find ourselves in the midst of good and bad no matter where we are and what we are doing. It is not our job to destroy them and we are not responsible for them. Our battle is not with them, the true battle that we should be fighting is within ourselves!… We don’t have to agree, but we all have the ability to chose love over hate, to let our light shine or add to the darkness with our own anger and ugliness. … Life is short, spend it in love!
All Ya Need Is Love?
Aside from the infinitestimal assumptions in play, I’m not even sure what some of that means. But here’s a variation on that theme:
Can we all just get along? Sit around the campfire, hold hands and sing Kum Ba Yah? No conflicts. No differences of opinion (we all know that honest differences of opinion are now “hate,” right?) Let’s not waste time or energy getting angry over minor stuff like injustice or malfeasance or corruption. Or Evil. Let’s just roll out the barrel and we’ve got the blues on the run!
Granted, politics isn’t for the faint-hearted. Anyone who’s been on the field for any length of time – say, 20 minutes or so – knows that politics is a blood sport. It can get rough. Ugly. Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does. (Newsflash: Divisiveness isn’t necessarily bad. For example, accurately dividing truth from error/falsity is the mark of a grown-up.)
Anyway, I understand the tender hearts among us who are chorusing Kum Ba Yah, especially following one of the most caustic election cycles in recent memory. Verse two is, Can We Just Move On and Start a Sing-a-Long? Well, I have an answer for that. Ready? Good. Cuz here it is:
But Kum Ba Yah-ing is a noble sentiment, you say. Why can’t we all just mind our own business, link arms and move forward like One Big Happy Family? For starters, because some folks don’t want to mind their own business. Link arms. Or move forward. Or do All in the Family. Check it out:
- We live in a world at war. Evil exists. If unopposed, evil wins. That means a fight. (Hate to break it to you, dear Kum-By-Yahians, but evil doesn’t go away just because you stick your head in the sand.)
- The Kum Ba Yah Credo is predicated upon the misguided, mistaken notion that the political playing field is a zero-sum gain, populated by like people of good will, liberally imbibing the Milk of Human Kindness.
- Certain convictions, values, views and constitutional rights are worth fighting for.
- The future of our constitutional republic – what’s left of it – is at stake.
- Defending and preserving our republic means a fight. Saying No. Standing up against those who’d turn our country into Amerika.
- All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men and women to do nothing. Translation: All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men and women to do nothing. And when you find yourself “in the midst of good and bad,” it might be a good idea to choose sides. Pronto.
- Zing boom tararrel, ring out a song of good cheer/Now’s the time to roll the barrel, for the gang’s all here is rarely a winning strategy in a fight.
While the internal battle is real, so is the external war raging around you. Furthermore, because the KBYC can’t or won’t differentiate between Right and Wrong, it’s not only injudicious, it’s dangerous. See: Neville Chamberlain. Remember how that panned out? Oh, and btw, some things should be torn down. And if the KBYC version of “love” is legit, then Jesus was the most “unloving” person in history.
While we’re newsflashing, here’s another: Attacking policy or ideology is not the same as attacking an individual personally – most Obamanians still haven’t figured that out.
So, while there’s no reason to be needlessly pugnacious or abusive toward ideological opponents, there’s plenty of reason to not sit around the campfire. Or roll over and play Warm and Fuzzy. Why? Because other newsflash: Two different views of the proper role and function of government are in play in America today. Ditto at least two conflicting views of how government should operate. And how much. They stand diametrically opposed to each other. One will win. The other will lose.
Believe you me, The Other Side is on the march. Not backing down. Ready to run you over. That’s why it’s a fight. That’s why the answer to “Can we all just get along?” is No.
If you’re not up for the battle, fine. Step aside. Make way for or back those who are. But don’t confuse apathy, fragility, or hoisting a white flag with “love.” That’s not “love.” That’s rank cowardice. And don’t launch into Pecksniffian sermonizing about holding hands around the campfire and singing Kum Ba Yah, then wonder how you got flanked and over-run.
Because here’s the deal: Everything is “political.” Everything. Don’t think so? Can you say, “health care”? How ’bout “sales tax”? Being a state elector prior to December 19. Sporting an NRA bumper sticker in Seattle. Agreeing to perform at this month’s presidential inauguration. Owning a bakery, photography studio, or florist shop and politely declining to participate in a same sex “marriage.” Try voicing a view that’s at odds with the Tolerance Nazis at school, in the workplace, on social media, or from a pulpit and see what happens.
This is War
While injecting needlessly acerbic or acrimonious fire bombs into the debate isn’t helpful, here’s another thing that’s lame: Blithely sitting it out while there’s a war raging for America’s soul. At every level. Indeed, sometimes the most loving thing you can do is to politely tell someone the Truth. Say No. Whether they choose to hear it or not is up to them. But don’t check out, paint a yellow streak down your back and call it “love.”
Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen put it this way in their historical novel, To Try Men’s Souls: A Novel of George Washington and the Fight for American Freedom:
“There have been unique moments in history where the written and spoken word has indeed proven to be mightier than the sword: Lincoln at Gettysburg redefined the Civil War as a conflict about the meaning of the word ‘equality’; Churchill in the summer of 1940 roused a nation to fight what many thought would be a hopeless last stand against totalitarianism, but for which at least he and his stout English comrades would have died standing on their feet rather than submit on their knees; and Thomas Paine, who with but one short essay, starting, ‘These are the times that try men’s souls…,’ fanned back to life the dying embers of a revolution. They show us that no matter how dark the hour, then or now, all that is required is a few gallant men and women who refuse to surrender.”
… or hold hands around the campfire and sing Kum Ba Yah.