I don’t believe there is a person in America who, deep in their heart, does not thirst for an answer to bridge the divisions among us. I’m not sure all of us, however, are awakening to the dangers of where we are truly headed. The steep precipice we face is daunting. If we do not find ourselves learning that the mistakes we are making are repetitions of the worst times in our history, we are bound to find our insanity has cost us even more than the atrocities of 50 years ago.
As the perfect storm began to build over the past decade, as a result of extremes of political ideology on both sides, and an increasing level of corruption in our government through the past several decades, we have allowed ourselves to become again both violators and victims in a struggle for power. Each side standing unmovable in our positions, we claim our moral high road, and try to force the other side to succumb to our superior motivations, or be pushed off the cliff.
As I began to lose the most precious Vietnam veterans in my life over the past few years, I wanted to tell their stories, so I decided to revisit the hell they went through. I have soaked my brain in the devastating fires of napalm, mortar shells, booby traps, land mines, and ambushes. In doing this I unfolded more than I ever really wanted to know about that time in our history. Perhaps the most comprehensive lessons are currently being broadcast in a series called, “Vietnam,” by PBS. The same can be found on You Tube. It is straightforward and unbiased, giving a complete picture of the Vietnam War and what was happening here in America during that era.
Veterans found themselves coming home to another war. The tragedy at Kent State was probably the most telling in how far as a society we had been willing to go into the depths of depravation against our own children who now are our senior citizens. The irony is nothing has been learned by our society, as a whole, to keep us from committing the same mistakes. Where are we headed now? To the same place, with the same blood on our hands, if we don’t learn to love one another. Our campuses are ripe with hatred and each day brings us closer to a collision course between their unrest and a part of society which they feel fuels it. They are just kids like the ones at Kent State full of little knowledge and high ideals. Let us not allow guns to be turned on them to silence them, even if we believe they are wrong and full of hypocrisy when it comes to free speech.
Most of us can agree that ISIS is our enemy. We agree they should be stopped, in their madness, from extinguishing anyone who is not of their mindset. They seek to destroy people of all faiths. They seek to destroy the world as we know it. Since we all know this is true, why can we not unite and focus on the real enemy? Why do we choose to make enemies of our brothers and sisters?
No matter what our political ideology, we must learn to listen to one another and find common ground that brings us together. We have no other choice than to risk a point of no return into the madness of the past. Our government is our worst example of how to live and get along. They are steeped in the mire of “the swamp.” They stalemate at our expense and do nothing to find a way to serve us as they were elected to do.
We have forced God out of our public lives. How can He help us when we refuse to acknowledge Him? How can we find the forgiveness and grace to move forward in brotherly love when God is Love and we won’t let him in? He is our answer, yet we would rather believe that our self-righteousness will save us. It won’t.
Please understand I have the highest respect and love for our Vietnam vets. They went honorably to war because they believed in their government’s lies. I blame the politicians who lied to them for their sacrifices which cost some of their lives and left others with nightmares of the past. LBJ and Nixon both knew there was no chance for victory for the South Vietnamese. They were responsible for the atrocity all suffered.
© copyright 2017…Phyllis Rogers