"The more things change, the more they remain the same."
American politics have always been tough, with plenty of meanness and bald-faced lies thrown in for good measure. We ought not to be surprised at anything these days. It's our tradition!
While some decry the harshness of today's political divide, and I'm among them, it doesn't help to pretend that it's been any other way. Perhaps it's a bit more intense these days because of the immediacy and huge presence of news. But it remains to us to sort out the wheat from the chaff, the high-minded from the scurrilous, fact from fiction, truth from lie, as best we can, though "fact" seems to be about as elusive as "truth."
The electorate is fickle, of course, and given to unpredictability.
For what has been the strongest nation on the face of the earth for some time now, it's surprising how much fear resides in the American psyche, and what a role that plays in our politics.
And for a nation soaked in religion, it's surprising how much ill-will there is, and bashing of the vulnerable.
Whether it be McCarthy or Cruz, first-term senators, trying to make a name for themselves, embarrass everyone but themselves, and then fade away quickly. Yet, before it's over, imparting to politics a poisonous residue that's hard to remove.
None of us have the option of withdrawal, though it's terribly tempting to retreat into our own little house and world.
We're all in this together - that's the way it is. And we can only do our best to be responsible in our freedom, mindful of passions that do more harm than good, embracing what history offers in terms of the best (I'm quite confident to say that history gives to us plenty of people who chose the high road and not the low). No one, then or now, is perfectly clear and none are pure. But there are some who seem have a light in their lives, a purpose that's good and even godly now and then. To them, we must repair … seeking their counsel and then making our choices.
With a little luck, maybe divine favor, we might add to the light and make it brighter with our own little flame of hope!