Drip by Drip

Posted: October 11, 2018 in Uncategorized

Change often comes in catastrophic burps; the earthquake, explosive revolution, the sudden unexpected death. There is no preparation and we are thrust involuntarily into a whole new unfamiliar world. That happens and happens quite a bit, really.

But the more common experience of radical change is measured more in drips. Slowly, one drip after another, the whole personal, social or even global reality shifts. The thing about dripping is the repetition. We come to accept the present drip because of the hundreds that have preceded the most recent one. Oh, well, another one. It becomes so … normal.

We are living in an era of vast political dripping, one drop after another. A global rainfall is scattering its showers all over the globe, including in the United States. This is the rain of autocracy, fascism, oligarchy, and strong man control politics. One could hope that this is the last gasp of an endangered species, homo power hungry, but I don’t think so. I think we are in for a long, sustained and very painful ride.

The drips of this despotic storm are slowly but surely eroding the values and accomplishments of many of our long-standing democracies. What took decades of struggle to build is being dismantled drip by drip. Criticize the system as you will, for there is much fault to be found, but the present reigns of terror are not reforming. They are dynamiting.

Though the form varies from place to place the goals are similar: Consolidate power, silence and often destroy the press, favor white establishment culture, design tax laws to favor the mega-rich, employ law enforcement to silence dissent, destroy independently acting Congress and Judicial branches, prefer corporate interests to individual rights, compromise patriotic values for treasonous corruption, control the entire system and politicians with vast unaccountable money, manipulate the masses to act immorally, violently and against their own interests, and target scapegoated groups.

History does repeat itself, if not exactly then close enough. I believe that we will live to see “national emergencies” used to justify police state actions, suspension of citizen rights, delay of elections, elimination of term limits, the silencing of dissidents, the imprisoning of leaders of the resistance, and state controlled media. Right now Fox News serves that propaganda function. That program may expand far beyond Fox in the future.

Alignment with strong-man monarchies and autocracies shifts the United States more decidedly toward the autocrat club. Unilateral actions that defy international law and dismantle long-standing agreements and accords are just the first step. Utilizing tariffs as a political tool is another. Severing ties with allies and realigning with empires such as the Nation of Putin is another. Ignoring science in favor of corporate expediency insures the loyalty of the big money to the autocrats. In time the intellectuals and scientists will be contained in order to eliminate their inconvenient perspectives and even facts.

And keeping the under classes fighting one another and incoming “threats” such as new immigrants is part and parcel of the master plan to retain power. Defending good white people from this menace becomes the sacred trust of the dictator and his cronies. He will defend and protect us, as long as we relinquish certain freedoms.

I wish I could say that this may be coming. But I cannot. The ship has already arrived in harbor. The only question that remains is just how far this drip by drip regime will go until it floods every crack and cranny of nation and world. A nuclear incident, for example, could be very helpful in the effort to consolidate power even more. So could an engineered civil war, a reenactment of the mid-19th century … but without the conscience of a Lincoln to guide our worst inclinations. We already observe the way presidential rhetoric is creating that psychological atmosphere. The language of fear is energizing the masses: The crazy, deranged mob that is attacking us from over the border, within our ranks, and from the other party is on the way. Get more ammo. Prepare yourself for the onslaught.

Unless this momentum is blocked and blocked soon it will get much, much worse. And without a hint of exaggeration I say that our young republic will go the way of many previous empires that rose and fell, or rose and changed into something monstrous.

What this requires is people of courage who dare to cast a different vision for life, name a different set of values, and identify different priorities. Ironically, the way forward in this time will include reminding ourselves what our founders – with all their own blind spots and biases – called us to be. The Constitution itself, that most remarkable strong and changing document of our common life, must rise to the top of our minds, and I mean more than only the 2nd Amendment.

The answers have always depended on people power and moral vision. It is the same today. Come together, friends. Do not be afraid. Be strong. Stand together. Resist the worst we can become and strive for our highest selves.

If you are a person of faith let your faith propel you to a place beyond just thoughts and prayers. Speak your understanding of a God that has been distorted and then presented to the world in the form of something that scarcely resembles the God of Jesus. Name it. Denounce distortions. Critique false churches and their leaders. And in the end realize that the birthing of a new world requires hard and sweaty labor. It always has.

  1. Don Lanier says:

    Tm, my Homiletics professors kept repeating about my tries at sermonizing: “strong on prescription, but short on application.” Your analysis of our current threat is disturbingly on target. And as much as I believe in the power of “people speaking up.” I think the ballot box — along with powerful witness — is where we must turn. It seems to me that it will take a huge and committed effort to win elections to change the future of our democracy. Who has the passion? Who has the determination to challenge the evil around us? Who will get out and WORK to turn our ship of state around? That I believe must be the companion of inspired speech.

  2. Mary Catherine Monroe says:

    Amen, brother. As I read history, you are absolutely on target. I wish it wasn’t so. IF the electorate will rise up and IF the forces allied against us are unsuccessful in buying/stealing the election, maybe we can begin to fight back against the evil that surrounds us.
    Thank you, as always, for saying what needs to be said in such an eloquent way.

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