So I was just browsing Face Book and a friend asked in a post, “Can’t we just agree to disagree and leave it at that?”, and sadly these days the answer seems more and more to be no.

A couple weeks ago a local newscaster asked about Ted Nuggent on FB.  She was wondering did anybody get why he was the way he was.  I wanted to respond at the time but just couldn’t distill what I wanted to say down to the kind of bite sized nugget that typical gets attention on the internet.

I know, or am at least acquainted with, lots of people, Gay, straight, Christians, Atheists, guys, girls, Republicans and Democrats, all kinds of people of many races, both sexes and then some.  I get along fine with all of those people as long as they leave me be to live my life the way I want to live it and don’t try to make me more like them than I am comfortable with.

Unfortunately, more and more that doesn’t seem to be the case.  Maybe I just don’t have a good memory but it seems to me people are digging in these days and are more anger and intractable in their views than ever before.  I pretty much missed the 60’s being born in 1967 and maybe it was as bad back then as it is now.  Certainly NOT the good old days.  These days’ people seem to be clinging more adamantly to their views and less and less likely to listen to someone else’s.  It could be it’s just the internet giving pulpits to the loud ones who were easier to ignore in the past but I fear it may not be that simple.

I see North Carolina ban gay Marriage constitutionally and it makes me ashamed to be an American-but that’s a whole different can of worms and I’ll wait and see if anyone cares about this one before I even think about going down that road.

Here’s the problem as I see it, the world is changing, or certainly seems to be changing more and faster than ever before.  I doubt they will ever admit it, because it would mean admitting how close they think defeat might be, but I think a lot of these people are just scared.

I see people doing and saying things that make me as angry as I have ever been in my life.  Things that make me wonder if the whole world has gone insane.  Why are Ted Nuggent, Rush Limbaugh, and Ann Coulter The way they are?  Why are Michael Moore and his gang of intellectual thugs the way they are?  I think they are terrified.  I’m not sure if there really is a culture war in this country, maybe it’s just progress, just natural social change but it certainly does feel like a war to many people and I think an awful lot of them on both sides feel like their side is losing.

I feel it myself.  I feel like what makes this country better (and I do think it’s better in most ways than every other country in the world) is that it in theory it still recognizes individual achievement.  Everything in life that matters starts with an individual or relatively small group of individuals making individual choices.  NOTHING of value ever starts at the group level.  It may be developed there, but it never starts there and this seems to be the last place on Earth where we truly value the importance of an individual over the state or the group or whatever and more and more I see people in this country trying to change that, make us like all the other places that think only governments or gods and religions or majority rule can make the world a better place.  I think dragging this country down that path is a death sentence for everything I ever believed in.  And I’m scared that there will be no place left for me and the few who remain who think like I do in this new country, new world we are building.

There was a joke when I was growing up about defensive driving.  We used to say the best defense is a winning offense.  I think more and more people are adopting that as a social philosophy.  I don’t know where that will lead us, but I don’t imagine I will like that place much.

I wish I knew how to stop it, or at least slow it down.  I wish I knew how to make people stop and listen, to accept the other side’s point of view but the truth is I don’t even know for sure how to do that myself.

I can’t make myself believe in a god who cares what someone’s sexual preference is.  I can’t make myself believe it’s OK to punish the rich because some people aren’t.  I can’t make myself believe that it ok to say individual achievement doesn’t matter, choices don’t matter, the government or the majority will fix it all for us.

I fear bad things on the horizon.  I think people are scared and I think they do crazy, desperate things when they are sacred.  When they see the world they know changing and going away.  They cling to what they know with a desperation that borders on fanaticism.

It’s such a short trip from scared to anger, hate and rage.  The atmosphere feels far too charged with all of those things these days and I am as guilty of it as anyone.

“Can’t we just agree to disagree and leave it at that?”

Oh how I wish I knew the answer to that question…

Your right’s end where another persons rights begin.  Do unto others as you would have done to you.  It doesn’t sound that hard.

So how did we end up here?