With each passing day I identify more and more with Valentine Michael Smith, the lead character in an early 1960s science fiction book titled “Stranger in a Strange Land.”
Smith’s confusion had to do with him being an earthling raised on Mars by Martians and, upon coming to Earth, struggling to understand cultural happenings here.
I haven’t been to Mars, but I am having difficulty comprehending events on our home planet, many of which demonstrate the perceived need, even eagerness, to turn proven societal norms on their ear.
Consider the rampant desire among our population to be offended, outraged and/or claim victimization.
My generation grew up in the world of sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.
I’d never have come home to my old man whining about someone hurting my feelings or, God forbid, crying about feeling uncomfortable due to the remarks of others.
“The more you cry the less you (urinate),” was his standard line in response to crying, only he didn’t say “urinate.”
Look around this country and you see formerly strong threads of community behavior fraying badly.
Once members of police departments were expected to enforce laws. Now, they are to be selective, letting law-breakers with politically correct causes skate, while lowering the boom on the remainder of the populace.
In Portland, Oregon, ground zero for tolerance of bad behavior now that Seattle chopped its CHOP zone due to threats on the mayor’s mansion, the Portland mayor grovels at the feet of hooligans while criticizing federal forces sent in to do the job he refuses to do.
Not surprisingly, as reported by The Oregonian newspaper, Portland police responded to 15 homicides in July, a 30-year high.
And, yes, Portland’s police force has seen its funding cut, a political offering to the noisy anarchists. Similar politically motivated funding cuts have been made in many other cities, not surprisingly resulting in increased crime rates in those locales, too.
In St. Louis, a couple brandished weapons to protect their property from trespassing protesters, who also reportedly were armed.
The couple faces charges even though it has come to light, according to multiple reports, that the “prop” pistol the woman held was reassembled after the fact by the authorities to make it able to fire, when it hadn’t had such capability at the time of the incident.
While mayors and governors – not coincidentally residents of the political left – let violent protests go unchecked, they bristle at federal intervention and the uninformed masses parrot their outrage, citing the U.S. Constitution.
These constitutional stalwarts don’t seem to be nearly as offended when they and their social media censor lapdogs seek to muffle the First Amendment rights of others, or do their best to strip away rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
Oh, but they couch their actions in such fuzzy and warm descriptions. They abhor hate speech and want unity, as in you agree with them or you don’t deserve to draw breath. They preach inclusion, again as long as you march in lockstep with them.
Sometimes their hypocrisy is on open display, thanks to the wonders of social media, aka the digital soap boxes for the intellectually conflicted.
Chris Palmer, identified in news reports as a former NBA reporter for ESPN, tweeted an image of a burning building in the wake of George Floyd’s death, writing “Burn that (bleep) down. Burn it all down.”
A few days later, when rioters were attempting to burn down his neighborhood, Palmer’s thinking had changed as he tweeted: “Get these animals (bleep) out of my neighborhood. Go back to where you live.”
At the end of last month, Seattle radio host Paul Gallant, who previously had been fond of protesters and their supposedly harmless behavior, now was tweeting “I feel like I need to buy a firearm” having come home to find a Starbucks in his apartment complex had been torched.
This brings to mind the line “What do you call a liberal who’s been mugged? Answer: A conservative.”
When I was younger, and schools taught history, we were amazed that things could have degenerated domestically to the point of having the Civil War.
All these years later, I now understand, and find myself speculating which side would win a second Civil War.
Would it be the hopelessly conservative among us who believe in working for a living, following the law, respecting the property rights of others and generally making their own way in life?
Or would it be the people who believe not in equality of opportunity but of outcome, who believe the government owes them whatever they desire, who believe their rights supersede the rights of others and who walk around with massive chips on their shoulders looking to be offended?
Before you pick your winner, understand that during a July 25 protest in Louisville, according to reports from the Louisville Courier Journal and on mediaite.com, three members of a left-wing militia were shot, supposedly accidentally, by a fellow militia member who must have skipped the classes on the safe handling of firearms.
“We had a little accident, it happens,” was the explanation from another militia member relayed fittingly on social media – the megaphone of the uninformed.