Fearless Reason

Fearless reason in an age of frightened absurdity.

Month: August, 2015

I Pray the World Out Lives Me

I pray the world out lives me, and strive to make it a place worth living if it does. I was born before the wall fell, when Great Powers threatened mutual destruction. I survived the apocalypse, though I only learned about it in school.  I grew up with terrorists, first domestic then foreign. All trying to kill me, all punishing my government and hating my liberty. I survived the terrorists, though I had to learn about them on the news. Then as a young man, I was assaulted by poison in food and water, overpopulation, a kleptocratic oligarchy, global warming, and ancient aliens if what some say is true. I survived these things, though I had to learn about them in somber documentaries and videos on youtube.

My life is lived on the cusp of destruction, but I die from squinting at screens, poking at keys, shuffling papers, and listening half heartedly to the chattering of strangers. I die every moment of every day, as the present becomes the past or is lost to abstractions about a future I may never see.

I survived the apocalypse, only to die of decay.

Grand Old Death Cult

The party of Lincoln, which led the fight to end slavery, has become a death cult that denies reason and worships money. Of course, the party of Lincoln did not really go away, nor did the southern Democrats who once championed slavery. No, they just switched parties. Johnson lost southern whites with the Civil Rights Act, and Nixon capitalized with his Southern Strategy. As a result, the Grand Old Party has become an unholy alliance between oligarchs, theocrats, poor whites, and libertarians.

These strange bedfellows all move to the beat of the oligarchs’ drum, driven by fear, hate and ignorance to achieve feudal rule. The libertarians cry for liberty, as they cut government to place themselves in privately owned chains. Poor whites yearn for a mythologized past and blame the less fortunate for their plight, as they vote for policies that compound their suffering. Then the theocrats long for the perennial fundamentalist dream- order in an incomprehensible world, because worldly problems are difficult and seemingly insurmountable, but God’s law is simple – and so they create hell on Earth. Those who advocate slavery did not go away, they just became more ambitious.

A Millennial in Early Adulthood

I was a toddler during the Reagan presidency, a child when Bush, Sr. took office, and a teenager and young adult under Clinton and Bush, Jr. By the time Obama took office I was transitioning from being an undergraduate to a law student, and have spent my young professional life under his Presidency. I am a millennial. That word used to describe the generation born between 1982 and 2000, and sometimes used as an epithet by our elders.

I am socially progressive by default, but read Ayn Rand in college and thought Ron Paul had some good ideas. I was ideologically mixed for most of my teenage years and early adulthood, abhorring war, craving liberty, fearing climate change, and struggling daily to pay student loans and make my way in an economy that lacks human purpose.

I am a millennial in early adulthood, hoping the world outlives me, and trying to make it a place I want to live if it does.  I grew up under Reagan, the Bushes, Clinton and Obama, but this election cycle is defining who I am and wish to be. In stark relief I see two political parties I once thought not different enough to matter, battling for the soul of our country. I see a Republican party that denies science, reason, and human dignity, and worships at the alter of money; and a Democratic party that is not perfect, but is willing to face reality on climate change, respects human dignity and human rights, and wishes to restore human purpose to an economy that reduces us to human chattel.

The Republicans terrify me, and the Democrats have convinced me they are worth my time, money, and vote. I am one voice amongst many, but my story is not uncommon. The Republicans have lost my generation, but the Democrats are earning our respect.