A Plea for Calm and Foresight in America

Bonjour all,

I am sad this morning, exhausted, weary, missing Paris, and quite honestly terrified. I don’t know my country any more. I can’t weave between the lines of lie-filled discourse, recognize the values I taught my children, or relate to such intense malfeasance. I have been quite ill for over a month, and I believe in my heart that stress, though not the cause, has certainly been the perpetrator of intensity and complications. I cannot abide the chaos, the confusion, the swirling rhetoric, the hatefulness. My system has been upended by it all. I feel deeply and take it all to the core of my being. Perhaps you understand. If you don’t, please don’t shout at me in a comment. Rather take to heart my words and simply reflect.

Writing is a form of sanity for me so I choose to lay down some heartstrings. I trust that I offend no one. Indulge me in a moment of grace.

William Blake said, “Hindsight is a wonderful thing but foresight is better.” Oh, that we could as a nation reach for foresight! My devotional this morning was from Luke 19: 41-44 which says:

“When He (Jesus) approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.’”

I feel like weeping for I believe we do not recognize that which we need to see and do as a nation. We have fallen prey to that which swirls in our midst: propaganda, vicious conspiracy theories from people who are otherwise unstable, distrust, suspicion, false idols and cult-like behavior. I remember the teen-age years of my children so well. They were not easy. My greatest fear was that they would be sucked into the “wrong crowd,” that they would fall victim to cult-like behavior which might change them forever and most certainly put them in danger for the present moment. I fought hard against the power of that sway as I’m sure you did. At this moment, I see cult behavior in regular, normal people. I am astounded and thus my stress! If our child lost a ballgame, we would encourage them to congratulate the winner, walk off the field with dignity and pride and move on to play another day. We would not encourage them to act like bullies, to bellyache about the loss, to blame, to berate, and to plot vindictiveness. It would be a good lesson in sportsmanship, not power.

The only people who are enjoying this American moment of tragedy are the Russians. They are jubilant to see the fragility of our democracy. We are showing them our underside in all of its ugliness. We are doing for them what they have tried for so many years to do unsuccessfully. We dare not let that happen.

I carefully selected the photo attached to this blog. We have been to Normandy five times and every time is like the first. One feels washed in the moment of history where America stood up to save the world from evil. Let’s stand up again and save ourselves!

Many blessings for the holidays,