Politics in This Viral Time

Note: Long I have believed that politics, at its best, at its heart (the word having derived from the Greek, polis, “the city,”) pertains to our human relating one to another for the sake of the common good and not, at its worst, human self-interested machinations to enforce the will of one (be it a person or a party) on another.

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In a…this global geopolitical era…

when fear and anger (twin siblings of one Parent, Control)
hold sway,
roaming, freely raging as principal actors on the world’s stage…

when a…the reigning theoria
is a…the harkening back to humankind’s darkening impulses
of varied -isms:
(sadly, for me, more than I can name, but some being)
ethnocentrism,
isolationism,
nationalism,
nativism,
racialism;
to a one, all calling out, crying out, “Us versus (thus, decrying) Them!”…

when political parties,
throughout earthen kingdoms,
align either right or left,
leaving the middle
(where, most clearly, can be heard the word of vox populi)
of sure attention and fair consideration bereft…

when in America,
the biggest elephants –
historically trumpeters of
smallest government,
lowest taxes,
greatest personal responsibility, and
highest ethical values –
now, trunk-to-tail, parade under the circus-sway of a ringmaster
whose baton, a whip, stirs the beast to build self-protective walls & towers
whilst donkeys,
fixated on finding their own ringleader
among a list dwindling to olden, pale performers,
cower.

When all this seems (and, in my view, is) so, I wonder:
Has it taken an enemy, invisible, viral
(one observing, honoring no distinctions of
race and clan,
gender and sex,
age and class,
politics and economics,
that humans avow as holy,
thus, altars at which heads and hearts bow)
to tap into our most ancient human instinct,
not of self-interested, self-preservation,
but of that other, oft forgotten (altru)-ism of self-sacrificial compassion?

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A Coda: If so, how ironic, then, that social media, originally touted as a boon to communication, which, as a by-product, made it possible to connect without being connected, leading to a loss of the capacity for empathy, in this time of social-distancing, might prove a way to do what it set out to do initially, that is, to make the world that global village, that friendly community under God’s heaven, and, thus, a haven of care in a temporal and spatial realm where fear and anger still take many forms and threaten the peace of all.

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