The New Domestic Vision
How it Used to Be
Trouble in the Middle East, a Communist insurgency in South America, guerrillas in Latin America, dictatorship in Africa, Chinese intractability, Russian aggression, and nuclear threats from Iran and Korea, to name but a few provocations that used to arouse the anger and fury of all America. Or, so it seemed. Apparently, there were basically voiceless citizens who were not so global-minded. Some were into achieving more fairness and enlightenment when it came to issues that had strictly to do with what was going on within our own borders. What about gay marriages? Abortions? The Glass Ceiling? Excessive executive pay? Miserable jobs that pay so little who cares if suddenly there are a million more of them? Whole industries that were once parceled out among small business owners that have been scooped up by corporate monsters? Greater fears trying to negotiate the ordinary streets and sidewalks of almost everywhere? Language problems owing to political correctness? Medical conditions whose treatments are prohibitively expensive? Prices gone through the roof while Wall Street steadily reports on little to no inflation? Banking policies that will not reward savings? Neighborhoods and Home Owner Associations that have resurrected the good ole boy culture?
How'd this happen?
The Refusal to React
There are arguments one hundred and eighty degrees apart, both of which hold water. For instance, within only a relatively short period of time, beheadings are being discussed and given enough coverage to make viewers sick to their stomachs. But no longer do we find ourselves dwelling in a world where Superman revs up, flexes, and flies out. On one hand, there are those who insist something must be done and right away. On the other, there are just as many, we are finding out, who claim it, whatever it is, is none of our business. They will not be moved. Why is this? Has the country tired of being played with, as if it were once possible to press our buttons to get an expected response?
I do not have the answers. A smattering of knowledge about history, however, introduces a degree of skepticism. Ukraine reminds us of 1930s Poland. Under siege, no one came to its defense, despite various understandings and the echo of cheers from having won the Cold War. Leading from behind is one thing. It can always be argued that the less affected demonstrate the better, more rational judgment. When things get hot, they tend to get hotter, sometimes to no avail. To stay out and wait for conflicts (which are regular events) to die down is a possibility that might succeed. But when nations, along with one in particular, possessing enormous anti-American might, make moves that are flagrantly against American interests, our waiting could turn out to be their best weapon.
Time to Back Off?
Should America avoid foreign affairs and concentrate more on domestic situations?
Over-Victimization in the 21st Century
The enormous and varied types of wrongs foisted upon innocent people the world over has actually caused our more sensitive emotions to break down. There is no plan in place to deal with modern barbarism. Thus, a prioritization has to be arrived at. Right now, as things stand, it appears as though White on Black violence in America has won out. Only two incidents involving two victims has overtaken the spotlight. There is no easy explanation as to how this came about in the midst of one of the most chaotic, lawless, and heartless times the earth has ever experienced, without all-out traditional or conventional warfare. But there is some logic to starting at the top of a pyramid of injustice and working downward, since the base of this triangular object is so sizable as to eclipse any Pandora's Box. Thus, if anti-Black actions can be diminished, if not altogether done away with, perhaps -- this is only theory -- other injustices might follow suit. The recent attack on the CIA is primarily a Democratic-led concession to an important Black constituency. Historically, Blacks distrust the agency. Nancy Pelosi and Diane Feinstein are shrewd politicians. In reality, Blacks should not dread the CIA, however reflexive and second-nature. The same for Whites, I hope.
There are those who think that every victory against any type of prejudice is a victory for all. But there are also those engaged in fierce, non-productive victim versus victim disputes who simply get eaten up with jealousy. There is nothing particularly objectionable to any of these recent, mostly Democratic, surges, to both address an injustice and pump up electability. The only caveat is the expense, not in terms of money, but neglect in the foreign sphere of activity -- now inactivity. At present, the urge to first clean-house first, before anything else, is understandable but risky. A Ukrainian fighting for freedom would not be high up inside the above-mentioned pyramid. Still, only if America plans on a full retreat from the world at large does it make sense to write off Ukraine. Appeasing Putin is hard to assess. Wondering about what he is after is hard work. To let it go helps jump start the new Domestic Vision. But will there be further annexations other than the Crimea? There is also the fact that our domestic disputes are ongoing anyway. They are not neglected. Often enough, they eventually move into the right direction, even if progress is too slow for demagogues and provocateurs.
Minding Our Own Business
Troops At Home
This is the greatest indicator of what the present administration might have in mind. It is not that it is deliberately sowing discord. It is only the utilization of RealPolitik. Obama has put a new spin on Civil Rights, holding cops to account and defending the presumption of innocence. As a Black himself, he has stood firm. For it can always be said, however simplistic, that the enormous, daily and nightly criticism of his regime, strategies, and policies stem from prejudice. Although over time, Civil Rights have made substantial gains, there are incredible exceptions, as well as alarming setbacks. In Ferguson a fatal incident attracted an unusually strong reaction. Numerous, frightful secondary incidents occurred. Somehow our attention was directed to this and a similar event at the same time the news had been harping on very gruesome developments overseas. One can only speculate as to what our next two years will be like. Already, it has become evident that a new path is being forged. Will it result in the use of military force right here at home? Will the police be outgunned, as seems the passion of a great many, feeding their anger on song, murals, tattoos, and other pop-cultural artifacts. Thus, our military stands ready, as it is anyway. But the main priority might have shifted ever so slightly from overseas dilemmas to the domestic scene. Have we anything to worry? To be sure, the reluctance of the latest incarnation of America to turn its attention to significant events outside its borders does not mean that they are being ignored. It only shows that the old ways of thinking about and reacting to them have changed.
It is already being thought about. But there might not be any need. By then, the military could be -- but probably not -- in charge. To arrive at this sentiment, because that is all it is, one has only to follow the headlines. So many Americans are armed and dangerous it is not funny. They periodically explode in unpredictable ways. At the root of the problem is the notion that in addition to being patriotic, law-abiding, hard-working, and tax-paying, Americans must also be apologetic. We can never shrug off the wrongs of the past. Now the foreign arena is included. We should not interfere. We only make things worse. We had no business in Vietnam. We stayed too long in Iraq. We should leave Afghanistan once and for all. If not, before long, the phrase "Yankee Imperialism," might resurface. It could happen. Actually, I am at a loss to explain our newfound aversion. Isolation was once a world-wide phenomenon, the universal response to the Great Depression, which was by no means limited to the USA. Its only real accomplishment was to help facilitate the Second World War.