TRUTH IN A POST TRUTH WORLD
BY DAVID CONRAD
When I think of what’s simple I think of certainty.
An artist who does too little to try and say too much.
That certain look in a man’s eyes, walking straight for you. No doubt there he’s supposed to punch you. Or tell you, you failed.
The stare an opponent has who knows, and you know, he’s gonna beat you.
Which I suppose is another way of saying Truth has always scared me. Scared us all at one time or another.
Oscar Wilde said, “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” But….
Still water you have to cross. A blank page you have to fill. An empty stage you have to bring to life.
Your job. Your lover. Your children. You owe them simply your life’s blood.
But coming to that realization is a clearing, a brushing away of clutter and noise.
Quite simply what scares you often brings you pleasure. In the end, Truth thru pain to peace.
The lake I swam across one morning near a New Hampshire town I’d never seen, couldn’t see 4 feet in front of me, my hand disappearing into the murk, no idea how deep, not a soul around. Water still as a mirror, till I touched it.
The first notebook I ever carried, 9th grade, one summer night staying up by the kitchen table grinding down the pencil point to fill page after empty page.
Working weekends in Drama school as a janitor, simply more hours spent not recovering from the schedule, but spending my lunch break instead of eating or crashing, spending it on the empty main stage practicing whatever words came into my head.
Simple steps into the unknown.
Which of course brings us to the Season.
Not the holiday season. The awful election season just past. The ugliest campaign this Country’s seen since the Civil War.
Quite simply too many Americans have stopped walking toward their fears. Walking toward what makes them uncomfortable to find within that the compromise that brings them and their neighbors peace. What’s a nation with even the tiniest modicum of gun control? What’s a nation open to the immigration it constantly chants is what made it great? What’s a nation as committed to equality as it is to unfettered liberty? What’s a nation dedicated to the proposition that all men ( “all people”, forgive the 19th century parlance) are created equal?
That’s us. These United States.
That nation would be, should be now.
It will be.
Because the simple truth is, the Right, the Conservative party, the Tea party–whatever names they call themselves–will soon no longer have the numbers. And every four years they will have less.
I am simply tired. Tired of the equivalency arguments, that all politicians are bad, that the Left is as bad as the Right, that Democrats are as bad as Republicans. Because it simply isn’t true any more.
Our two party system has failed because the lunatic core of the GOP dragged it down. They don’t want to govern. They’re not a party of any “people”. They’re American Bolsheviks who will do anything, anything to the Country, make it pay any price, in order simply, to rule. And now that they have the wheel, they are willing to drive us all off a cliff.
Do the simple math. They have. Which is why they’re simply furious and desperate. Passing lies and packaging them as relative truths. “It isn’t true, but it feels true.” Reality show versus reality. And that’s how they won.
But it’s simple: wait.
An historian once asked a Lakota leader what will your people do now that the Country’s been settled.
“Wait,” he said, and nodded at the hard landscape, “This is our land. Been here a long time. How long do you think you can last?”
Gay rights used to be an almost taboo subject even among the Left. 15 years ago it was too risky to say your support out loud. It was too early to fight for equality, too early to make it a national issue. Now, even the Right knows opposition is a loser. A low vote prejudice. But they have to play to the fringe. It’s what you do when assembling junkyard scrap.
What’s strange is they have met no Waterloo yet. They haven’t been beaten dramatically at some electoral Gettysburg. But they will be.
They’ve simply not yet met what Richard Nixon called the silent majority. (There’s ironic justice for ya.) The complacent people who did not vote this year. They who were told politicians are the same will soon find out that they are not. And they will be awakened.
And that soon to be newly awakened American majority wants decency. It will hasten its walk away from the Right and toward the truth. It should have happened in this election. It didn’t. Sometimes for real change to happen, consequences have to be met first.
Because Truth is scary, rarely pure, and never simple. Truth thru pain to peace, remember? And so we wait.