Why is every debate in this year’s Presidential race more like a life or death battle than a discussion of how to make American lives better?
Why do the candidates speak of one another as if they were mortal enemies rather than Americans with different points of view?
Why has our political process turned into unconditional warfare rather than an opportunity to find the best way forward for America?
The answer is PTSD of the soul, a condition that afflicts many, many Americans.
Having been subjected to almost 75 years of war-after-war on distant battlefields and war-after-war to address our social, cultural and economic challenges at home, the American people are combat weary.
And tragically, some of us are now conditioned to see everything in life through the lens of warfare. It affects the way they conduct themselves at work – witness the CEOs who lay off thousands even as they gild their own paychecks – in government – witness the elected officials who can’t agree even to discuss key bills and appointments – and on Wall Street – witness the crass greed and law breaking of hedge fund hooligans and investment bank bandits.
These Americans are sick. Their illness not only warps their own spirit, it harms millions of us who happen to get in their way or are unintentionally in their target ring. We are their collateral damage.
But that doesn’t make us helpless victims.
We have the power to force them to stop. We can release their hold on our businesses, our political system, and our financial institutions. We can reject their corruption of our lives.
And we must.
Peter Weddle March 10th, 2016