The people you once admired … you can’t stand.
The family members you were so close with … you can’t even follow on social media anymore.
Your neighbors. Your coworkers. Your old friends from school. You just can’t relate to them. You just don’t understand what they’ve turned into … and you don’t understand how we got to this point.
There’s a dangerous energy radiating through America right now.
People are trying to gloss it over. They are pretending it isn’t there.
In the meantime they’ve developed an anger … a near hatred … for their neighbors. Their coworkers. Even members of their own family.
People pretend it’s not there … but you feel it. I feel it. We all feel it. It’s like the distinct buzz of energy you feel in an otherwise quiet room when you know something is plugged in and you can’t figure out just where it’s coming from.
There’s something dark happening. And if you thought this was going to be an article filled with bubbles and sunshine, you’re wrong. This is an article that instead tries to get at what so many of us are feeling.
I don’t know the precise moment it all changed. It has been building for a while. But things are starting to break.
Six years ago, statues were historic. Today, they are racist.
A decade ago, police officers were heroes. Now they are the epitome of evil.
On September 12, 2001, Americans all across the country proudly displayed American flags. Today they are a sign of oppression.
Two decades ago, the men and women who serve our country were honored. Today, they can’t get the medical care they deserve and are killing themselves in frightening numbers each day because of PTSD.
Last November, I expressed my disgust at seeing college students burn the American flag. I pointed out that although I think it’s despicable and disrespectful, those students had the Constitutionally protected right to do it. I was attacked because I was told I needed to “respect their feelings about the flag.”
Last week, I mentioned that although I’m disgusted seeing hate groups hold free speech rallies, they have the Constitutionally protected right to do it. Just as we have the Constitutionally protected right to call them idiots for doing it. And I was attacked and told that freedom of speech has limits.
Apparently those limits are that certain members of the left have to agree with that free speech.
Today, people are attacking President Donald Trump, who pardoned an 85-year-old sheriff convicted of a misdemeanor who faced a maximum of 6 months county jail time.
It’s almost as if he pardoned a transgender traitor convicted of a felony who was sentenced to 35 years in prison; convicted felons with gun charges; or criminals coming into this country illegally.
My bad. That was President Barack Obama. That president was CELEBRATED for those pardons. And for the release of terrorists who have since returned to killing U.S. soldiers.
But of course we can’t talk about this stuff. We can’t have conversations any more. Facts don’t matter. They make you a racist. A bigot. A sexist. A homophobe. A xenophobe. A boogeyman.
We no longer have debates. When your neighbor or your old classmate realizes she can’t argue against you because you are being logical and rational, she blocks you on Facebook.
When he realizes he can’t disagree with your point, he labels you a member of the alt-right – even if you haven’t voted Republican in a single election.
Your neighbors are making hats inspired by parts of the female anatomy and marching in parades led by convicted terrorists simply because all of their friends are doing it.
They are chanting “resist” without even knowing what they are resisting … then talking about how YOU don’t want to unify our country.
We have police officers being assassinated in broad daylight. And then we have politicians and leaders who are apologizing for their murderers by blaming the POLICE.
We have officers afraid to draw their weapons and defend their own lives because they now need to choose between their safety and their career.
Perhaps we need to look back 50 years or so to the words of Paul Harvey. It’s chilling, really, when you realize that he saw this coming a half-century ago (and then updated it 30 years later):
If I Were The Devil
If I were the prince of darkness, I would want to engulf the whole world in darkness.
I’d have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree — thee.
So, I would set about however necessary to take over the United States.
I’d subvert the churches first, and I would begin with a campaign of whispers.
With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.”
To the young, I would whisper that the Bible is a myth. I would convince the children that man created God instead of the other way around. I’d confide that what’s bad is good and what’s good is square.
And the old, I would teach to pray after me, “Our Father, which are in Washington …”
Then, I’d get organized, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting.
I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.
If I were the devil, I’d soon have families at war with themselves, churches at war with themselves, and nations at war with themselves until each, in its turn, was consumed.
And with promises of higher ratings, I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames.
If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellect but neglect to discipline emotions. I’d tell teachers to let those students run wild. And before you knew it, you’d have drug-sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.
With a decade, I’d have prisons overflowing and judges promoting pornography.
Soon, I would evict God from the courthouse and the schoolhouse and then from the houses of Congress.
In his own churches, I would substitute psychology for religion and deify science. I’d lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls and church money.
If I were the devil, I’d take from those who have and give to those who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious.
What’ll you bet I couldn’t get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich?
I’d convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun, and that what you see on television is the way to be.
And thus, I could undress you in public and lure you into bed with diseases for which there are no cures.
In other words, if I were the devil, I’d just keep right on doing what he’s doing.
I am of the belief that there’s only one way to solve this. So are many others.
It’s not through shutting down speech that we don’t agree with. It’s through having uncomfortable conversations.
That’s why we launched The Whiskey Patriots.
What is a Whiskey Patriot?
It’s a patriotic American who believes that our country is worth fighting for.
It’s a patriot who believes that no matter how bad things get, we can come together over a glass of whiskey and work out our differences.
It’s an American who believes in the core values our Founding Fathers accepted when they penned the Constitution.
It’s an individual who is willing to stand tall and declare that while we may not all look the same … all men and women were created equal under God.
I have no idea. But my America is worth fighting for. Is yours?