In 1967 Stephen Stills sang: "There's battle lines being drawn. Nobody's right if everybody's wrong. Young people speaking their minds, Getting so much resistance from behind. I think it's time we stop, hey, what's that sound? Everybody look what's going down."
Stephen saw the bloody confrontations of 1968 coming. Can we learn from history? Can we acknowledge our mistakes? Can we forgive? Or will we continue to fight, thinking we are right?
Granted, people are divided and in conflict for good reasons. We all have legitimate grievances. We all have good reasons for what we believe, and what we do and say. Don't we?
The problem is the way we deal with conflict, because it has failed. It is corrupt. It is divisive. And just look where it has gotten us.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not holier than thou. I'm a bleeding heart liberal progressive who really hates what the heartless right-wing conservatives have done for the last 50 years. I became politically aware in 1962, when Ronald Reagan, then Governor of California, launched a bloody crackdown on the Free Speech Movement at the University of California in Berkeley, this setting the tone for the brutal and bloody crackdown throughout the 1960s by right-wing politicians and police forces against the dissent and protest of free speech advocates, anti-war demonstrators, and civil rights demonstrators. It was a horrible abuse of power, and it deeply divided America.
I confess, I'd really like to see right-wing neo-conservative Republicans get what's comin' to "em. I'd really like to see justice done, because I know that the same kind of people who were to blame then are to blame now.
However, while I agree with my favorite author about that, I have come to also agree with him that the solution is not defeating them or conquering them in a partisan political contest for power. The solution is putting an end to the division by putting an end to the conflict and competition, rendering partisan politics and competition for the "throne" obsolete, putting an end to the partisan political party form of oligarchy and the presidential form of monarchy, and instead establishing government that is truly of, by and for the people.
That solution is making more sense every day, especially since it is becoming more and more obvious that President Obama's clear victory is increasingly ringing hollow because the sore losers are still playing dirty, still being deceptive, and still resorting to slander in order to try to render Obama politically impotent. They hate losing the power they've enjoyed for so long, and they will stop at nothing in order to get it back, or at least diminish Obama's to the point where he can't effectively lead or be successful with his initiatives.
Sure, I'm obviously a bleeding-heart liberal progressive, but I'm a partisan only because the powers that be have made it absolutely necessary to fight them. But, again, where has that gotten us? Isn't partisan politics simply perpetuating division and conflict?
Political partisanship is about trying to gain power over those who disagree with you. But the partisan political pendulum swings back and forth, from right to left, and it has ever since the contest for president between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.
Sometime it swings slowly, as when the right-wing Republicans under Presidents Harding, Coolidge and Hoover were in office from 1921 to 1932, when they brought the country to its knees with their greed and corruption. Then it went to the left under Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman, who straightened things out, and then to the middle under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who, by the way, was wise enough to warn us of the danger building up in the U.S. Military Industrial Complex.
Unfortunately, few listened, and the U.S. Military Industrial Complex grew and kept growing. In 1981 it started to become the U.S. Religious Military Industrial Complex, and due to the political actions of the "Christian Right" it has become more and more so ever since. In fact, now it would astound you to learn how much so.
In the public sector, with complicity by the Pentagon, much of the US. Military has been and even now is being taken over by proud, militant right-wing "Christian Evangelicals." The Air Force Academy is practically run by them. The military chaplain corps in all branches of the service is being taken over by them for the purpose of proselytizing, in spite of the fact that chaplains should respect and serve members of all religions. And the military is moving into our public schools. All across America the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines are recruiting more than ever, and even opening new schools where every student wears a uniform, participates in Junior ROTC and takes military classes. And, not surprisingly, they are targeting the poor and minority communities in the inner-cities, which have declining tax bases and growing unemployment. The exploitation is shameful.
There is even a "Super-Christian" group in America whose members call themselves "The Family." They regard themselves as an "invisible" association, although the leadership of its membership has always consisted mostly of powerful public men. In fact, among its membership there are a significant number of Republican U.S. Senators and members of the House of Representatives. Many members also belong to the right-wing Federalist Society, and many members are also involved with or identify with The Project for a New American Century (PNAC), the right-wing neo-conservative folks who want to rule the world through "globalism" in the name of religion and/or patriotism.
Considering this, we should remember that in Adolph Hitler's Nazi Germany, the children and youth were indoctrinated in his concept of "Christian religion" and in the ways of the military. Most of the German people never questioned Hitler's youth movement as a vehicle for evil Nazi indoctrination in the 1930s. It all seemed fine to them at the time, and they in fact liked hearing that Germany was superior and good, and deserved to be the dominant force in the world.
A similar thing began happening in 1981 with the rise of the Reaganites, The Family, and the Christian Right, and increased again during the eight years the Bush Regime reigned. After all, Bush claimed he was "doing God's will" by living by the "sword" (gun and bomb), waging an ill-advised war, and pursuing a military agenda seeking world dominance with their PNAC, Federalist Society and "Christian Coalition."