Chapter 103 – Needful Things

       It occurred to me that the intensity and emotion of my last few posts might have led some to believe that I’m suggesting Trump supporters are the mortal enemies of those who oppose him. That is by no means my intention. I have said many times that many of my dearest friends are unapologetic in their support for Trump and so far, at least from my point of view, my friendship has not waivered one bit, perhaps because I see this whole Trump phenomena to be an aberration and a reflection our human frailty and not who we aspire to be Americans. Instead, what I have been trying to do is point out that given the history of this country, how it was founded and how it has sustained itself over the centuries of its existence, it should be clear that America has always believed it was permissible and appropriate to suspend or deny the benefits of democracy to certain groups of individuals. Democracy is not a cafeteria commodity that you can dole out only to those that the people in power believe are worthy of it. Either everyone has it or no one has it.

       I’ve also said that the essence of a human being is a need to be right about everything he or she believes and the hardest thing for a human being to do is admit we are wrong about anything. Every Sunday morning, I watch a religious program called Your Move, with Rev. Andy Stanley. His program this morning endeavored to analyze that quality of humanity. In his discussion, he pointed out that though atheists and theists have opposing points of view, the two groups have one thing in common. They have in common the fact that they don’t just believe their point of view is the correct and truthful point of view, but something in their lives has caused them to fear the opposing point view. In other words they don’t just believe they are right, but they fear that they might be wrong. In my opinion, all our fears of being wrong are natural manifestations of our fear of death. Since the beginning of civilization, men have used humankind’s fear of death to control and manipulate humankind.

       In applying that logic to the current political debate in this country, I asked myself, what is the one thing, the one belief that if you could somehow erase, the impasse could be broken and democratic compromise could be obtained. I concluded that the belief that human beings are comprised of separate races is the idea that sustains the impasse. If we all accepted the proven scientific, genetic DNA data that tells us that we all are actually cousins and the entire concept of race is a made up phenomena invented by men in their attempt to control other men, we could treat the differences in our political inclinations with the pragmatism that a democracy calls for and compromises can be reached for the common good.

       Atheists fear Christianity because to believe it requires belief that we will be judged for all our wrongdoing. That is horrifying to some because they know they have done wrong. Likewise, Christians fear Atheism because the idea that they will cease to exist after death is horrifying to them. These are powerful fears so both sides desperately oppose each other. The same can be said of the fear between Republican Trump supporters and supporters of the Democratic Party. My argument for support of the Democratic Party at this point in time, is not so much that I believe in everything the Democratic Party stands for but because I know that at this point in time, it is the only option that gets us off that path of self-destruction we are currently on.

       Remember the movie, “Needful Things”, staring Max Von Sydow, Bonnie Badelia and Ed Harris? It was a Stephen King story about a man, who seemed to embody all of the values of a quiet New England town that came to a small town in New Hampshire and opened up an antique shop. The man turned out to be the devil and had a way of picking at the scabs that cover all the prejudices and petty jealousies we all hide, eventually turning the whole town against itself and causing them to murder and destroy each other until there was nothing left of the town. I’m not suggesting that Trump is the devil, but his administration thrives on fear, chaos, and political unrest. We simply will not survive as a nation if he prevails in the upcoming election. Go back and watch the movie again on HBO or one of the other cable channels. It may prove to be cathartic this time around.

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9 thoughts on “Chapter 103 – Needful Things”

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