In the past couple of days, I’ve found the same questions on two separate posts, and thought it might be fun to answer them. Thus – today’s post. However, I may have gotten sidetracked, and those questions might wait until another day. Or maybe I’ll say what I have to say and answer questions, depending on how many words it takes me to say what I have to say.
Last night I watched a documentary on Netflix – Tricky Dick and Johnny Cash – it was about Cash being invited to perform at the White House, because Nixon identified with him, apparently having had a similar situation in his childhood family. Nixon rquested Cash perform two “southern” songs, both questionable in taste. However, in the interim, Cash became aware of the conflicts in the country with the Vietnam war. Then he and June went to Vietnam to perform and it was an awakening for him. So when he did perform at the White House, his song choice was somewhat embarrassing to the government – a kind of a protest song – “What is Truth”.
Now – what made me think about this blog post, was not Johnny Cash or Nixon really, but what seeing the scenes of the protests and police reaction awakened in me. I lived through all that, but was rather protected in that I lived in a rural area and what I knew was what I saw on TV. I did not agree with the conflict – which was never declared a war – which doesn’t mean I didn’t support the troops. They were doing what they were told to do, and for the most part they were not there voluntarily because we still had the draft. I was the one that took a petition to church protesting the war – not realizing it was VFW Sunday. Yeah, that went well. People who were my friends the day before and the day after, were not on that day. Bad timing.
What all of this is leading up to is that I’m starting to think the great division in this country started then, with the Vietnam conflicts. There were the protestors, the youth, people who felt like I did, that war is wrong, that the French had been there 25 years and had not been able to accomplish anything and out going in was a waste of lives, energy, money, and time. There was Kent State. Then there were those who supported the government, listened to and believed its lies (watch Ken Burns series on Vietnam – a real eye opener). And never the twain shall meet.
We have grown angrier since then. We have become less tolerant, more accepting of rudeness and less interested in empathy, compassion, kindness. If you don’t agree with me, I don’t want to be your friend and it’s okay if I call you names – because, the leader (so-called) of this country does it, so it’s Okay, right? I understand the difficulty in remaining close friends with someone who is on the opposite political side – it makes conversation more difficult, puts up more road blocks in what can be discussed. We need to remember, however, that we are fortunate to have that freedom – the freedom to choose what we believe. Each and every one of us.
We need to choose our votes wisely, to ensure that freedom is not lost. We need to vote with intelligence and reason – and let emotion sleep while we make our choices. We have two years to think about it, so let’s do that. Let’s listen, let’s fact check. Please.