Category Archives: culture

Democrats, a warning

Democrats (and many who aren’t) are celebrating the news indicating Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States.

The impending change in the Executive Branch also will be well received around the world.

However,…

…Biden and his supporters (and, yes, I voted for him) need to take his victory with a significant warning: His victory did not come with a sweeping mandate or with any coattails.

There’s a chance the Democrats won’t have a majority in the Senate, and they also might not have increased their lead in the House. In addition, so-called down ballot results across the country indicate there was no Blue Wave this week.

I might be guilty of throwing water on the man’s parade, but the reality is Biden is not seen as a major change agent throughout the land.

I confess, I wanted a GOP wipe out this week. The party has become a national embarrassment, in my opinion. The results suggest that opinion is not shared by tens of millions of voters.

President-elect Joe Biden will face stiff headwinds as he attempts to address the deeply rooted problems our nation faces.

Who are we, and what are we becoming?

Steve Montagna, a friend of mine from our high school days, is the author of the post, which first appeared on his Facebook page. With his permission, I post it here:

On this day when so many carry so much anxiety in their hearts, a few thoughts.

Many have looked at this day as a day of reckoning. In some sense it is, but I don’t think in the way most people think.

Governance, policy and politics matter, of course, and greatly. But what will always matter most are the far more enduring questions of who we are and what we are becoming.

The greatest questions challenging us today, and the past four years, and in fact throughout human history, are simply these: Are we growing our compassion or brutalizing it? Are we telling the truth about ourselves to ourselves, or are we hunkered down tightly in our illusions?

The mystery of our predicament-of-the-historical-moment, if we had the courage to face it, is not so mysterious at all. The truth is that most of our choices, thoughts, and beliefs are driven by the needs of our egos. We create the illusions of our identities to imagine that we are superior to others. And because the fragile human ego is so desperate for its fix, it will often sacrifice in turn the virtues that are the true test of our evolution: grace, honor, civility, and most importantly, compassion.

You are your ego’s servant when your ends justify your means; when you tolerate cruelty; when you stand with the bullies or mutely to their side; when you sneer at your perceived enemies; when you sacrifice your integrity for your team; when you take the easier cruel path rather than the harder compassionate one.

Cruelty is woven into the fabric of human history. It continues to plague us. We will not fix it with ideologies, political leaders, economic systems, or any of the infinite identities we latch onto, for the ego’s sake. None of these are real or enduring. They are hiding places for the ego’s fears and self-regard. Our focus on them is exactly why human history runs in endless circles of promise and misery.

We will only evolve when we tell the truth about what drives us, and then meet it, with courage, in the battlefield. And fight the good fight, today and every day, for our greater humility and compassion.If it was easy we would have already done it.

Four more years

It’s possible that within hours “President-elect” will be attached to Joe Biden’s name.

For the more than 70-million Americans who voted for him, this will be great news. For the almost 70-million Americans who didn’t, this will not be.

Biden’s win —and it appears from an Electoral College standpoint it might be as narrow as 270-268 — affirms America remains a divided nation: Roughly half of us who voted did so to endorse the promise (and uncertainty) of tomorrow, while roughly half of us chose to endorse the memory (and certainty) of yesterday. Those ideologies will remain baked into our political DNA.

For four more years.

That divide would be acceptable if the two camps actually enjoyed positive relationships with each other. They don’t. And because of that distrust, dislike and disdain, the real challenges that face this country seem destined to stay in gridlock.

For another four years.

Does anyone see any reason why the Republicans, who likely will retain a majority in the Senate (likely 51-49), will treat President Biden with any respect? Led by their disgusting majority leader, the GOP did everything possible to stall Barack Obama’s political agenda. They will do the same.

For four more years.

All the nonsense talk about Russia gumming up elections, China trying to cyberattack everything, and Iran itching for war masks a more important war: the view millions of Americans have of the other side of the political aisle being the enemy. That’s not going to change.

For four more years.

Good luck, Mr. Biden.