You say “potayto”, and I say “potahto”. That dispute of opinions is not likely to cause people to throw punches or Molotov Cocktails. On the other hand, you say Trump, and I say Clinton, and those are “fightin’ words”! But why are we fighting?
Could it be that communicating effectively is no longer possible in American society? It certainly seems that way, but why? Oh don’t ask such a silly question! Silly or not, it has to be asked! Nobody on any side of the issue, other than a few nihilists, want a nuclear war! Yet America keeps poking the two other biggest kids on the block, Russian and China, in the eye. Might they get tired of it? Might they retaliate?
Look at the streets of America today, and you’ll see people wearing black masks clubbing people wearing red baseball caps. At least one side of the argument is incapable of defining their terms, setting their standards and living by any rules whatsoever. Oh don’t talk about rules, rules are like pie crusts; meant to be broken!
O.K., for just a moment, let’s say that’s true. No rules apply, and it’s every him/her/ze/ve/zie whatever for themselves. When that’s the case, then people will gravitate toward someone with whom they find themselves in substantial agreement. This is already an effective and existing part of our culture, but it’s taking on much more serious overtones because the association is for the purpose of doing physical, social, financial and political harm to those with an opposing view.
Anyone reading this piece, regardless of which side they are on, will readily admit that they are going to defend themselves against attacks by the opposing side. They have already rationalized taking offensive measures for defensive purposes. In other words, I’ll punch you in the face before you punch me; even though you haven’t made a single threatening gesture towards me. Now under current law, that would be assault and battery, and if someone died, it would fall in the category of 2nd or 3rd degree murder.
But what if the law doesn’t apply? (Laws are rules by the way – see previous paragraph + 1). We’ve seen examples over the last couple of years where people involved in mass street actions of protest, have taken the liberty of using violence while the police stood by and watched. In the unusual case where the police exercised their power of arrest, and the perpetrator was charged and taken to court, the judge and/or jury let them off. If there are no consequences for an act of violence, then a person who could not restrain themselves once will be emboldened to do it again, and again until there are consequences.
Things could escalate from a fist punch, to a clubbing over the head with a 2″ X 4″, or a lead pipe, to a stabbing with a knife that has an 8″ blade, to throwing acid in someone’s face, to shooting someone with a gun. At what point, should some law (rule) apply? Should the individual taking the violent action even be subject to a law? Is there rationale that would dictate that those who believe they are on the side of right of the issue, and have the political clout to exercise and back up that position; should they be able to do so without any repercussions?
Let’s say for a moment that the answer to that last question is “Yes!”. Then, let’s say the situation is reversed, and now the party involved that was on the losing side of this political issue is now on the dominant side – it could happen! Would they then be justified in using violence against the perpetrators of the initial violence? It is at least reasonable to think that, and if that became the case, the perpetrators of the initial violence would certainly cry “Foul”!
In this writer’s opinion, they would be justified in crying “Foul” just as their victims would also have been justified in doing the same, but their cries fell on deaf ears. Now, of course there are people who claim to be “Anarchists” who want no laws, but they aren’t really anarchist. They want to use the cloak of anarchy until they gain power at which time everything will get very orderly – VERY ORDERLY – like a dictatorship! At that point, there is only one opinion; “Potayto”, and if you say “Potahto”, you’re dead!
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