If we are to have a life together, we will need to make some changes.
You pick the moment things began to go desperately wrong. I go back to 1975, for no more reason than to gain minor historical perspective. This is not the date some would expect, so we can talk without threat. In fact, that is the way we must learn to talk all over again.
We have lost the language.
Since 1975 we have suffered the intrigues and agitations of the extremists. These persons and their acolytes made a good living off us. They transformed us into a perpetual minority party within our state. Now we are on the decline everywhere.
Baptisms are now anabaptisms, or worse, the immersion of near-infants; the ignorant, the uninformed, the willing. Growth is transfer.
All the Kingdom weeps.
There is some small hope just now. A few of the Ultras pass from the scene. If we learn from their being here we can yet benefit from their going.
- Extremists need conflict. They cannot live without it. An Ultra cries "Peace" only to rearm.
- Extremists claim they want no position and tell the truth, but only in part. They want power and prestige, not position, only, and will gladly do without a public spot if they can maintain private ambition and so be called selfless men.
- Extremists offer to leave as soon as their work is done but insist they are the only ones who can decide the end of their purpose.
Imagine what might have happened in 2008 if the GOP had run a Republican candidate for President. We might have had a debate of enormous magnitude for the Democrats, breaking tradition, ran as much a Centrist as they could find; not apparently a philanderer, nor a man made of wood. If the GOP had found a Republican instead of a (national hero, brave man, straight-spoken) hero who never articulated a meaningful difference between himself and his opponent, we could have had a discussion.
- Extremists operate well in the sound-bite. Debate, they deride.
If we are ever to have peace, or even constructive debate, the extremists will have to go back to their corner. Push the Ultras to the edge again.
TOMORROW: TAKE THE POISON FROM THE SYSTEM