“Of those so close beside me, which are you?”–Theodore Roethke

9 Mar

Of the current conditions rampant in American society, which is worse?  Naiveté?  Narcissism?  Hypocrisy?  Revenge and retaliation?  Megalomania?  Obviously, I have listed these maladies in decreasing favor. 

Ignorance—which is at the heart of naiveté—can be excused (once) and corrected, though those who continue to ignore ready instruction are no better than the evil they support.  I do not use the word evil lightly:  I deeply believe evil is being supported widely throughout America as I write. 

My frustration lies in knowing many support it out of their lack of awareness—and yet they make no effort to educate themselves, though compelling evidence is obvious before them.  Is it pride—which is at the heart of narcissism—that restricts them from admitting their mistakes?  Or is it really a hypocrisy that allows them to say one thing—what they believe, what they stand for—and to do another, i.e., to support the aforementioned malevolence and immorality.   

I have heard it said we can be so opened minded our brains fall out—or, as Shakespeare’s Marc Antony put it:  “oh, Justice, thou art fled to brutish beasts and men have lost their reason.”   We carelessly trample Truth in pursuit of what we mistake for liberty and justice for all. 

Those who are motivated by revenge—and we know who they are—are no more immune to hypocrisy than those against whom their retaliation is directed.  How quick we are to condemn when we are the victims; how silent we are if and when the tables turn and we become the perpetrators.  How conveniently we forget the principals upon which our protests were founded. 

Megalomania is a word reserved for a self-selected few.  In modern history, probably only one name rises to the top of this chart:  Hitler—though on less-publicized scales, every country, ever era has had most likely someone on this “Most Wanted” list.  Perhaps, in our naiveté—our narcissism—we dismiss probable current candidates as implausible, as we don’t want to look foolish.  Such recognition reeks of conspiracy theories to which only the gullible or narrow-minded could possibly subscribe.  Yet it is this opportune repulsion toward such low-brow traits that ensnares the most eager in the very attributes they flee, allowing the driven to plow on to their demonic destination with little resistance.

I can’t pretend to understand what motivates these power-ravenous monsters, as whatever it is, it isn’t anything that attracts or seduces me.  Don’t misunderstand:  I have my own flaws and fragilities, but to control others is not one of them on any level.    I do, however, oppose any whose purpose is to control me—and I resent those who will not stand in the gap with me to resist such subjugation. 

One would think their own narcissism would be enough to provoke them into self-protection, but I guess they are simply too self-absorbed to realize anything is happening around them that isn’t of immediate and instant self-satisfaction.  Thus, is the monkey captured with his fist in the jar, the frog boiled in what he assumed was soothing bathwater. 

Lord, deliver me.

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