The celebrated Victorian novel, “War of the Worlds” by H.G. Wells, speaks of a fictitious invasion of planet Earth by Mars. Travelling through outer space, the attacking Martians land in a sleepy English hamlet, and upon landing they commence construction of huge, mobile, tripod supported cylinders, lethally armed with death ray and lethal smoke weaponry. The clear and unmistakable intent to destroy the entire population of the Earth is soon made frighteningly evident.
The combined military forces employed by England prove to be hapless against this fierce Martian onslaught and panic spreads throughout the nation and the world as it clearly appears that the attackers’ mission is world extermination. Fear and hopeless despair is worldwide.
Suddenly, as if it were a miracle, the Martian attack grinds to a complete halt, the killing cylinders crash to earth and the Martian soldiers suddenly die. This sudden and surprising reversal takes place and the victory is won, not by the defensive prowess of mankind, but by earthly pathogens (bacteria) to which the alien attackers lacked immunity.
Notwithstanding the obvious fact that planet earth is inhabited by a common species of man, there would appear to have developed two general and distinct “sub-species” based upon divergent and antagonistic belief systems at virtual war with each other.
[Species 1] The first species, often termed “liberal,” would hold to the contractual undertaking in the 1930’s between FDR and the American people who were, at the time, recovering from a profound depression. The agreed representation was that it was the proper function of the federal government, in fact, its obligation, to ameliorate the suffering of needy citizens by programs of food relief, medical access and healthy sanitation. The contract also covered many additional subjects including, safety in the workplace and fair treatment of the worker, housing, financial assistance to widows, orphans, disabled, the unemployed and other legitimately needy persons. Subsequently, and as part of the federal government’s responsibility, was oversight to insure pure and healthful food, water, pharmaceutical products, safe travel, honesty of public investment, the health of the atmosphere and a myriad other subjects too important and sensitive to leave solely to the cold, natural operation of a market economy. Oversight of civil and voting rights was found to be necessary and was included.
[Species #2] The second species, often referred to as “conservative,” in general, maintains an opposition to government regulation, to oversight of business or programs of assistance to needy Americans (as “spurious entitlements”). They energetically oppose control of gun sales and ownership, a woman’s right to seek a legal abortion, programs of global assistance and trade, scientific proof of man’s participation in climate change. They favor a literal, often anachronistic, interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, as opposed to the adaptable, sociological approach of the late Judge Benjamin Cardozo, and have, in this nation consisting of immigrants and their progeny, an exclusionary approach to immigration. In international disputes they favor the hawk and impugn the dove.
We have, in past writings, observed the unfortunate decline (virtually to non-existence) of what we have called “civic amity,” the ability to responsibly and constructively debate differences of political opinion. The well intentioned and neighborly exchange of views, by a literate and informed citizenry, was thought by our founding fathers to be necessary to the proper operation of a democracy. Unhappily each segment (“species”) of society by reason of its respective belief systems have separated themselves and are distant from each other, and are loyally and intractably insular; often they treat the other with disrespect and often avoid each other as if they were unfriendly aliens, rather than fellow countrymen.
One morning last January, voters of “Species #1, woke up, like the residents of the sleepy English hamlet in Wells’ novel, horrified to discover that, against all prognostications, Donald Trump, a claimed exponent of the belief system espoused by “Species #2,” had won the Presidential election. Dismay and fear were expressed by Species #1 people, who predicted nothing short of doom. As appears, the victory was enabled by those who opposed government assistance and regulation, by gullible voters who were mesmerized by Trump’s unspecified promises of better days, most especially by the economic underclass (who were completely mesmerized into voting against their own vital interest, governmental assistance) and by people who were simply “fed up” with Washington.
As feared, the new chief, deemed totally unfit by many pundits by reason of temperament, excessive ego and total lack of gravitas, began his term by immediately so acting as to ratify such fears. He thoughtlessly made unprecedented and bizarre telephone calls to foreign leaders, despite his complete lack of awareness of the background and precedential history between our nation and that of such foreign leaders; there was no apparent consideration given, nor awareness of the possible symbolic interpretation of such unusual acts.
Desperation set in regarding his choices of cabinet, a person selected to the office of Secretary of the NSA (the most sensitive and secret entity of all) who turned out to be a traitor, a Secretary of State who is a partner in the oil business with Russian oligarchs, an Attorney General who is annually awarded the grade of “F” in Civil Rights, by the NAACP, a Secretary of Education who publically expresses her opposition to public schools, a head of the EPA who has sued that agency on several occasions and states that he is an opponent of that agency, and so on, ad nauseum as to all of his other selections.
This Species # 2 candidate installed close family members in White House sensitive positions, has been charged with many counts of sexual abuse, seems to have secret ties to Russia (which interfered in the election in his behalf), has uncounted conflicts of interest and violations of law for which reason he, unlike every other President, has wrongfully refused to furnish his tax returns. His inconsistent statements and manufacturing of facts have confused and worried everyone, domestic and foreign.
Not unlike the residents of the sleepy English hamlet, liberal and middle-of-the road people were caused to be confused, and fearful about their future and the future of the nation. A four year term manifested by such disgraceful phenomena would appear to be unbearable. Like those fictional. English characters in the H.G. Wells novel, all would seem utterly hopeless.
But take heart dear reader, good tidings are truly in view and redemption will arrive soon. In the subject novel, the death-dealing invaders were eliminated by nature, the earth’s pathogens to which the aliens had no immunity. In our present, non-fiction catastrophe, virtue will also be redeemed by nature; in this case, by human nature. Personalities, such as those described who presently inhabit the power and influence of our government, are predictably blinded by their personal arrogance and hubris. A consistent manifestation of this arrogance is the delusion that they have a higher plane of awareness and sensitivity than others, and so can practice their miscreant behavior undetected by the public which is, presumably, unaware of their brilliant devices. This weakness in judgment is nature’s weapon which will, in time, deliver ultimate justice. Such arrogant presumption is purely self-serving and erroneous. We have already seen firings, quitting, revelations of gross misbehavior brought to light (particularly by the media) and a plethora of investigative activity presently and earnestly in progress. The wrongdoers are beginning to realize that all parts of the public now have at least some awareness that they have been misled and mistreated. Many are already expressing “buyer’s remorse.” Even the bloc that was numerically most responsible for Trump’s victory, the low information “flat earth” people are coming to the angry and insulting realization that they have been taken in by a “snake oil salesman.”
We will need some patience but can be assured that a better “world” is on the way!