I desperately, with all my heart desire to treat everyone around me with respect, as adults, as equals. I ache to find the words to express how profoundly I want to love everyone I meet with a love that says, “Yes. I approve of you. I’m not the best, and you’re not the best. We are just two people on this adventure of life, and it’s good.” I want that so, so much. It is a vision of the world I see ever before me, and by grace I taste its sweetness once in a blue moon.
This is why when I see evil, strife, pettiness, self-indulgence, arrogance, and lies, my heart swells and bursts into a rage incomprehensible. I hate the threats to the Good with a violent, tearing hate. I want to destroy them forever, I want to crush them utterly. I do not want to feel this, because I know how easily this will become my all-consuming passion, so much so that I will crush myself and those I claim to love soon after. Doubt is also ever before me, for hate is easier and simpler than love. Am I truly hating because I love, or because I am hating?
How can I react to people when they do not even know they are liars? I look at them and earnestly desire to wholly affirm them, but I cannot. I cannot. Yet they push and they push and I am not strong enough, because their lies are believable. They are so foolish they cannot even see what they are doing, and I hide the effects because the truth will cause them pain. Are they foolish or am I?
This is how I feel about politics. The buzz word is so abstracted that it is a mere sound to me. I guess post modernism is dead, but what has replaced it? A violent behemoth that is as sensitive as it is powerful. A behemoth that demands consideration, but will not consider. A behemoth that takes post modernism’s rhetoric but leaves its laissez faire conclusions.
What is the purpose of government? What is the purpose? What is a man supposed to value? How does government protect us? A man values his family above all, save God. Do I agree. Do I? The world is not safe. If you think luxury abounds, you are a fool. Food abounds. Money abounds. Wealth abounds. Are those the joy of life? Can food and money cure depression? Can anything cure foolishness? Can anything cure the love of immorality? No, this world is not safe. Danger is at every step, lurking in the dark or wearing a mask.
A man loves his family, and the world is not safe. What does this mean? It demands caution. Has this generation ever once experienced caution? What is a decision? What is weighing an action? If at every turn, we are ready to accuse the enemy of disagreeing because they have a moral defect, that is not only a perfectly formed logical fallacy, but it instantly ends all dialogue. How can one be open minded when one believes his opponent is evil? Humility is the beginning of any dialogue. If that is not truly present, nothing can follow.
Does a man not value those around him? Yes. I desperately want to give my whole life to every one I meet. But this is impossible. It is simply impossible. I am finite. I do not even have the capacity to care for everyone around me. I do not mean provide for or help in reality, but simply care for. My heart does not have room. In addition, not all that glitters is gold. Beauty is deceitful. How many stories have we heard of the confidence man? Are we still so naive as to succumb to the hope of the goodness of all? How can any dialogue at all be made without agreeing at the root?
I go back to the fact of rage. To be truthful, I do not have a thorough justification for my values. I am a man driven by passion and restrained by truth. I live among ideas, and verify some through experience. As a Christian, I verify more through the Scriptures. But I certainly do not know exactly why I am angry. Sure, I am angry because I do not support gay marriage. I am angry because I do not support Obamacare. But what precisely is the problem I have with them? I do not know. I have some reasons, but they are not nearly strong enough to hold my ground.
And yet, I am enraged. I do not want to use the rhetoric of the shepherds of the sheep, because it disgusts me. Yet I am tempted to, because it can so easily be used to support me. I am taking responsibility and not asking to be pitied, to be given what I want, and because of that, I am losing.
I do not want to argue in this way, but I am driven to. The banners I see everywhere offend me. They are a symbol for something that I do not support. I would not be so upset about it, save for the violently aggressive nature of the movement. Love clearly is not the thing that won, love is patient and kind. It does not envy or boast. It is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way. It is not irritable or resentful. Something else won. Self righteous anger won. I would not be so upset, except that they just keep shoving it in my face. In fact, their mere belief in the legality, much less morality of gay marriage is appalling to me. I mean, this is 2015. The issue has been agreed upon for thousands of years. Isn’t it time our society moves on?
The above paragraph is a manipulation, and most of it I do not support. It is a rhetoric whose sole aim is to force another to agree through emotional and moral argumentation. It does not treat the person as an equal, rather as a Pavlovian dog to be trained. A similar rhetoric could be used to ban the confederate flag, or to defend the Civil Rights movement. It could also be used by Native Americans to ban the American flag or by the KKK to continue their traditions a century ago. It ends dialogue, period.
I have to emphasize that I do not even know what I believe 50% of the time. I am not afforded the luxury of seeing things simply. I refuse to allow experience to be ignored, and I refuse to allow experience to rule. I refuse to allow emotions to be ignored, and I refuse to allow emotions to rule. I refuse to allow fundamental truths to be ignored, and I refuse to allow fundamental truths to create impossible conclusions.
Passion feels like truth, but it is not. What if you loved someone so utterly that you would be miserable if only that made them happy? What if you tried to enable them to be happy and became miserable because they were not? That is something that contains passion. But that passion was not truth. People’s souls are not accessible by us. People’s souls are not accessible. This is why I am independent. Because it is a fact.
I am so steeped in my generation that its rhetoric I hate is what I use constantly. This document says nothing convincing. It has no concrete facts. Maybe it has wisdom, but it mostly has the wild emotions of a young mind. It should not convince anyone of anything. Perhaps it should make people think, but it is not an example of proper dialogue. Yet it attracts me like a narcotic.
And now, God. Oh Lord, bring me peace. Truly I am a fool and I am in a whirlwind of confusion. Please, if it be your will, reveal to me truth about your world. I believe that your truth is already in me, but I do not know what I know yet. Let me love your truth. If it is possible, let this world and the world of my children be one of joy and unity. Your will be done, but please Lord.
2 thoughts on “A Young Conservative”
I’m starting to think that to understand the American Experiment, you must understand Huck Finn and Blue Winds Dancing.