By Pastor Rasheed Z Baaith
‘Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually: he soweth discord” (Proverbs 16:14)
There can be no doubt that America is at war. At war with those from the outside who want nothing more than to destroy all this country is, and do it in as vile and horrific way as possible. That fact is bad enough but America is also at war with itself. This latter war may be more destructive than anything Muslim extremists can accomplish.
Everywhere one looks we can see and hear the deep rooted schisms tearing at the framework of this country. Not just the North against the South but rich against poor, women against men, old against the young, conservative against what passes for liberal today; inner city against the outer city. The government versus those it governs, teachers against students, whole cities against their police departments and young people killing each other because of colors or just because. Nothing is unopposed and nothing is off limits.
Of course opposing perspectives are nothing new for America. What’s different today is the vehemence, the mindless anger and what will be the long term effects of these conflicts about what America is supposed to be. The linchpins of that construct are America’s politicians.
They are the spokespersons for the most extreme thinking present in this country coming from the right and the left. Compromise is a word today’s politicians refuse to utter, let alone employ as a strategy. They deliberately appeal to those they know are determinedly intolerant, reactionary, and needlessly infuriated. They call to people who are unhappy with America as it is and believe America’s reality is because of those who do not look or think like them. They believe they have to “take back America.” When I hear that I know that means they feel it’s time to “re-whiten” the White House.
A great deal of the opposition to President Barack Obama is about more than policy differences. I have policy differences with him myself but I’ve always respected him, I’ve never attacked his wife or his daughters or his mother or his father or anyone else related to him. Nor any other president I disagreed with. Nor have I ever accused them of being in collaboration with an enemy because they failed to say something I felt needed to be said.
I believe that Donald Trump will be elected President although I pray I’m wrong. But I believe that America is in a place where common sense is being over ruled by fear; where decency is seen as a weakness and where anger is encouraged. And Donald Trump is a big part of all of that. He knows no matter what he says or what he lies about or how he voices what he says, his supporters won’t lessen but grow. He knows too that there are a large number of folks who won’t say they support him but will vote for him.
When that happens and he becomes President, the United States of America will be a thing of the past. The word “division” may not be in the country’s name, but its permanent reality.
Think about it.