The victorious liberals want to let bygones be bygones. They urge the GOP to work cooperatively for the good the country. Democrats are genuinely perplexed by our disenchantment and fear about the future. Some young lefties think we hate black people. How else could their immature minds rationalize our disdain and distrust for this, the most opaque executive in the history of our country? Perhaps they are feeling the effects of the peace and love hangover of their parents’ and grandparents’ Woodstock ideals. Government as the provider of the rule of law is oppressive. Government that provides “free” services is essential. They wonder what all the fuss is about.
I confess that I am a Facebook junkie. I regularly spend too much time there reading the entertaining variety of useless speak and humorous pokes. I have nearly 300 “friends”, most of whom are mere acquaintances who I would likely never socialize with in real time. There are a handful of fellow Facebookers who are indeed good and genuine friends, some quite closely so and others a bit more distant. Many of the latter are former high school classmates, including some who I knew well back then along with a smattering of younger and older alumni who I have become closer to as a result of that social network. Some are liberal. Most are conservative. Before the election, I estimated that about 25 of my Facebook friends would likely vote for BHO with the remainder supporting Mittney.
During the firestorm of rhetoric that preceded the election, I found it increasingly challenging to withstand the ignorant and irrational mutterings from the left as much as they found equal difficulty in reading my conservative rants. While I did not unfriend anyone, I was moved to block the irritating blasts of a few. I wonder if they did the same to mine, even though I avoid personal attacks and aspersions.
After the election, I am pleased to report that there was not an overabundance of gloating and “I told you so”, but a quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson appeared multiple times that said: “I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” I suppose that means Mr. Jefferson, unlike myself, would not even block posts from his Facebook friends, let alone unfriend them.
The dictionary tells me that a friend is defined thusly:
1. A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.
2. A person whom one knows; an acquaintance.
4. One who supports, sympathizes with, or patronizes a group, cause, or movement:
Despite the elucidate wisdom of one of our founders, it’s patently apparent that three of the four definitive options above pertain to trust, cooperative agreement, and unity. An acquaintance is only loosely related to being a friend, a precursor to identifying the common beliefs and values that foster trust and a united front. So, while I may agree in principle with TJ’s declaration of friendship, my only authentic and literal friends are necessarily those who I like, trust, mutally support, and are allied with my beliefs and values. That being said, I am sorry to say that all the others are mere acquaintances or the least of friends. Sounds harsh and insensitive, even flippant I know. But I am prepared to be regarded in the same manner by those with whom I fall short of meeting their causes and struggles. That’s the true nature of friendship. After all, there is but a fine line of divide between bare friendship and enmity.
Perhaps this kind of evaluation of friendship is what causes the divisiveness across the aisles on East Capitol Street. Maybe the Democrats really believe in a looser definition of friendship. That would explain their inability to comprehend the right’s frustration and perceived obstinance. It’s akin to a rerun of the Summer of Love’s generation gap. We are miles apart in our perception of the world and its future. Little was accomplished then to assuage that chasm, which causes me to contemplate whether much can be done now to exceed that less than stellar margin. And it’s growing wider and deeper, garnering an even greater unlikelihood that it can ever be narrowed, let alone completely filled in.
I am instructed by my Lord to love my enemies, but I am also told to shake the dust of my sandals when I leave anyone who will not listen to the truth. So, to my acquaintances with whom I share little in the way of things political, social, and economic, I love you, even though we do not agree about most things. If I block your Facebook posts, I understand if you shake your shoes off and leave because I was merely doing the same.
I am mindful that I am ignoring that time-tested fill dirt for the holes of division – compromise. But that’s a whole ‘nother topic for another time.
Photo credit: DonkeyHotey (Creative Commons)
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