I’m glad I already speak English. It’s a complicated language with contributions from more than 100 other languages, and has more words than any other. I’ve watched our Burundi friends struggle with homophones such as “new” and “knew,” as well as idioms like “it’s raining cats and dogs.” If you include technical verbiage, legalese and medicalese, English has more than a million words, though the average adult’s lexicon is about 20,000 to 35,000 words. In medical school I learned a new language, the language of science contained in my three inch thick Stedman’s medical dictionary.
When I write I enjoy finding the perfect word to express my feelings or thoughts. And I sometimes like to challenge readers with edgy words to stretch our common vocabulary and vision.
Our English lexicon contains the German word schadenfreude. A friend’s recent snarky posting about Trump on FaceBook made me think of schadenfreude, defined as taking pleasure in another’s misfortune. My friend’s politics are different than mine. His comment was clever, but gratuitous. And lest you think I’m being self righteous, I assure you I’ve fallen similarly from grace.
What defines a man – in the generic sense? In antiquity a person’s name was a reflection of their character. In fact, the word character comes down to us from a Greek word for the imprint on a coin. Our Burundi friends have names far more descriptive than my Christian or surname.
What can someone know of me when we first meet? My picture shows a middle aged white guy. But there is more to me than surface appearances or would be branding by the PC culture. If I smile and extend my hand as we meet you might deem me friendly. And social pleasantries and banter might confirm an initial impression – or correct them.
My readers “know” me from the half a million words I’ve penned in ten years of columns on science, philosophy, medicine, politics, history and spirituality. I believe all writers want to be read. However, for this introvert, the biggest hurdle to writing was exposing my thoughts to public perusal. Some have viciously attacked my thoughts and perspectives in this “opinion” column. Others have thanked me for a “voice” they do not have.
In the movie Les Miserables, the protagonist Jean Valjean sings a beautiful and poignant song of self reflection after encountering sacrificial love (agape). My friend’s FaceBook comment caused me to reflect on how I view myself. We all wear different hats – so to speak – and have differing responsibilities. For example, I’m a doctor and the major breadwinner of my family, whereas my wife manages our home and wraps our family in love. I am also a man, but I identify first as a Christian, a husband, father and grandfather, an American and then philosophically as a conservative.
A prominent expert alleges that “liberals are always liberals first.” I’m not sure about that, but it has caused me to consider why some Americans seem to side with foreign governments and aliens instead of other Americans, or strive to circumvent the rule of law as contained in the Constitution. An example is sanctuary cities who refuse to obey Federal Law, opting to choose which laws they obey. I don’t think the state trooper who pulls you over would side with ideology over law. It goes far beyond interpretation of the law. Ideology has morphed into a perspective of war on those who dare to have an opinion different from the left’s.
There is a great divide in our country because we are at war with each other’s opposing ideologies. There will always be differences of opinion, but now personal denigration has become the modus operandi, rather than debating the merits of an argument. I can understand personal attacks on Trump from people like Rob Reiner, aka Meathead, of the sitcom All in the Family, but I naively expected more from Congressmen or officials appointed to high office. If Maxine Waters, John McCain, Al Franken and Nancy Pelosi are the best America can produce, we are lost.
Many have asked when this civil war and lunacy will end. You must understand that there can be no peace until the defeated side acknowledges its election defeat. Just like the election of George Bush in 2000, the Democrats now claim Trump is illegitimate, choosing to ignore the Constitution and the Electoral College (I shall not rehash “hanging chads”).
In analysing the alt-left, the Democrat party and the media, some interesting concepts have arisen in the punditocracy. The media is now overtly leftist and seems to have taken over the role of Democrats in their zeal to destroy Republicans or anyone who opposes their ideology. In the past the media was assumed to be the outlet of the Democrat party. People are now asking if the Democrats are just a “faction” of liberalism and another operative of the progressive movement.
Furthermore, the notion that we are held together as a Constitutional Republic by the Constitution is being challenged by a group of people who believe this document is antiquated and a collection of “negative liberties” which should be overhauled by extra-Constitutional means (judicial fiat). Pointedly, the only reason we don’t have a jack-booted police force to control Americans is because we Americans have previously adhered to and cherished our Constitution. Throw out the rule of law and we no longer have a representative republic, a system of government predicated on the rule of law.
I must say I am at times discouraged. So few people seem to understand what’s going on or even care. However, this may be a misconception perpetrated by the perverse “fifth column” media. It may be difficult to find, but Trump is systematically reversing the destructive mandates of Obama. We are no longer a paper tiger. The economy is booming with real jobs, not part time ones. My contractor is having difficulty finding workers because they’re all booked three and four jobs ahead now.
I now take “fake news” for what it is and recognize the media as the propaganda arm of the liberal progressive movement. I believe there may be a few good men in Washington along the lines of Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. McConnell did “man-up” and reverse the 2003 Senate Democrat rule regarding judicial filibuster. It was never in the Constitution. Ryan and Trump may make political sausage and finally repeal/replace Obama-care.
It’s early in our country’s new direction and rejection of leftist heresy. Orange jump suits are awaiting operatives of the “deep state.” We The People are watching.