not because of a cold, or a malfunction in the heating system. No, it was what started out as a ghostly appearance of understanding that, as I moved toward consciousness, grew larger and more disturbing with each moment.
As an individual who started life as a Rockefeller Republican and has slid to the right ever since...to the point where John Birchers look liberal and chaos theory makes sense as a political policy guide...what I suddenly was considering seemed like a threat to my very core beliefs. And I believe, as I describe it to you, it threatens the very core beliefs of those on ALL sides of the Political Spectrum.
First, consider the reason for the Democrats recent loss of a majority in the House of Representatives. They listened to those in opposition, then trivialized and marginalized those opposing points of view and finally treated them with a mocking, denigrating disdain. And when they lost the election, claim confusion about why they lost.
They had applied Alinsky's Rules with dedication and precision. What they did not realize is that if your defined enemy suddenly becomes more numerous than you, you have a problem...a very big problem.
The Republicans, in turn, have done the very same thing. Granted, they treat those ideas with which they disagree with dismissal, rather than outright action. They ignore, rather that voicing their disregard, but that is a matter of style, not substance.
Both sides practice this approach. Many in the world also have done it. The problem lies in choosing an opposition that ultimately can outnumber you. When that happens, the best propaganda machine in the world loses to the numbers.
Only once in my lifetime has this approach ever worked. And it worked because the practitioner realized that an enemy had to be selected that could NEVER become the majority. The National Socialists in Germany under Hitler selected the Jews as the enemy. This ensured that application of the forerunners to Alinsky's Rules could never be trumped by numbers. And the application had singular success.
This political application was shear genius. Hitler's, and Germany's, demise was a result of bad war strategy, not political failures.
But my shock upon awakening was not caused by the fact of this application...it was that its continued practice here in America and in the world prevents us from taking care of our public existence properly. The political spectrum is not really about political ideology as much as it is about acquiring power over others. Most are subconsciously aware of this, but ignore it because of the very public discussions and arguments about the "ways" of acquiring it, as if the particular political point of view validates seizing the power to tell others what to do.
Disagree? Consider: I may have any number of political views which I think would make the country (any country) a better place to live for me, my children and my community...but I don't go out and demand that others live under that particular set of rules. Who does? Dictators. Conquerors. Despots.
Anybody else? Well, those who secretly would love to be a Dictator but sense the personal danger in acquiring and keeping the position as well as a desire to be seen as a more benevolent but superior person form a group acquire power. In some cases this is an army. In many others, it is a political party. But I cannot see how anyone can argue that at its center is the desire for power over others that starts the trouble.
In the South Pacific Islands they had a practice (I do not know if it continues) of selecting as King that person who least wanted to be King. And, if he grew to like the position, they would kill him, eat him, and select again. Not many failed to appreciate that it was NOT good to want to be King.
I like that practice. It serves to put power over others in perspective and surely helps minimize it. Wish we could do it here.