(Theme and variation is a structure I often use in my writing; it’s a way of looking at a topic or idea from differing points of view. Here I continue to explore the idea of either/or, how this simple formula can be skillfully manipulated through context and unspoken clues. /wr.)
A big part of the American legacy is to reduce things to a simple either/or. It creates the illusion of being willing to make tough choices, of moving forward with decisive shows of strength while leaving piddling details unexamined.
Often this way turns out be a stumbling block; America trips over details and consequences patience would have allowed the nation to foresee. Obama’s mighty effort to restore the nation to the security and values of patience has been met at every turn with resistance.
But the Republican either/or has combined blame and virtue, a powerful two-thronged attack against the largely silent, milquetoast good news of the Democrats or. At the visceral level, blame is an adrenalin rush, it releases every bio element of fear and danger and fires aggression.
Peace, policy success, lower def con levels and unemployment is “lazy”–not in the Boehner sense but in the world of body chemistry–and the world before meth addicts, knife waving terrorists, domestic abusers, frackers killing 70,000 fish in Ohio, ISIL killing 1700 kneeling in a ditch, NSA taping private calls, kids shooting automatics, parents killing children, 300 girls lost because the world doesn’t seem to be looking–we are running psychological marathons against our fears.
“Lazy” now means those who won’t fight the good fight; it’s meaning has widened.
It’s hard to match blame and hate as natural triggers, especially when so many no longer value peace but are spoiling for fights.