We’ve Entered the Necessary Age of Zealots
As a writer, I typically formulate thoughts quickly, get them down on paper, and run with them. That works well for me; my “production” is pretty steady and what winds up in front of readers is generally well-received.
For some thoughts, though, I need more information, a better point of reference, or just to wrap my head more fully around the idea. Occasionally, I just need time to talk myself out of what I’m thinking.
I’ve spent the last several days trying to talk myself out of what I’m about to say, but for as much as I want to, I can’t find any real flaw in the basic premise of my thinking.
What if Hitler, Stalin, Mao, et al are “necessary evils” let loose upon humanity to force us into realignment? What if their vile acts simply must occur now and then to give good the opportunity to triumph over evil and make the world a better place for a while?
What if we’re in such a time right now?
In 2021 you wouldn’t look at Germans and declare them awful people, but if you lived in America circa 1943 you likely would have. How would you feel about Germans living in your neighborhood? How would you react to hearing Wagner playing on the radio? What momentary twinge would you feel seeing a can of sauerkraut sitting on a store shelf?
Today there’s no great animus toward the people of Germany, but eighty years ago there was, and such a reaction was, in my estimation, absolutely necessary. War is an ugly thing, full of death and destruction and atrocities too difficult to process without a way to justify it in one’s mind. War cannot be prosecuted, no matter how just and necessary, without first making it mentally “okay.”
This is where zealotry begins. I believe we must become absolute zealots to “justify” the massive scale required to fight and end a conflict like World War II. And in case you doubt that such zealotry could be carried as part of our “national consciousness,” remember that in the mid-1940s even Bugs Bunny got in on the act, with both the Germans and the Japanese.
If Hitler, et al, are evils necessary to realign mankind, zealotry is necessary to make that realignment possible.
Call me a softy, but I’ve always tried to avoid the word “hate.” Lately though, the revulsion and anger I feel every time I see a video featuring ANTIFA borders on that very thing. I feel a physical tightening of the muscles and an immense desire to be in the scene at that very moment. When I see one of those chumps taking a swing at whoever they’re targeting, the zealot in me comes out and I want to see justice done right now, by my own hand.
No doubt the exact same zealot has come out in the ANTIFA scumbag at that precise moment; our respective zealots simply carry an entirely different worldview.
Such is the nature of war, and I believe wholeheartedly that the United States is currently in a war between good and evil within our own shores. Like everyone else involved in this war (and we all are), I’m certain that my side is the “good” side. For this reason, I simply have no tolerance whatsoever for anyone on the other side. I don’t want to hear from them. I don’t care what they have to say. I share no relation to them in any way and refuse to entertain any thought that I might. And they feel exactly the same way about me.
This is the necessary zealotry of our current circumstances.
I’ve always been the calm one, routinely the arbiter called upon to settle disputes. I’m the level-headed one who thinks rather than just reacting. I’ve been the peacemaker because I’ve never seen the point of conflict. It always seemed to me to be counterproductive.
Now I have no interest in sitting at the same table as AOC. I couldn’t take her (or Kamala Harris, or Cori Bush, and certainly not Joe Biden) seriously in any case, but the disgust I feel just picturing any of those and a hundred others like them within spitting distance of me precludes me from even considering the possibility. I believe to my core that Anthony Fauci, Ilhan Omar, Nancy Pelosi, the entire Department of “Justice”, and countless others in Democrat party “leadership” all belong in jail. And the more I see, the more deeply ingrained that belief becomes.
Image: Antifa attacks a Portland prayer group. YouTube screen grab.
I cannot find an avenue of acceptance for what I view as a fundamental trampling of our nation’s Constitution and dismantling of what is and has always been the greatest nation ever conceived on this Earth. I believe their treachery is purposeful, with those participating in it well aware of what they’re doing. I believe it is positively immoral and I believe it imperative that these activities are stopped in their tracks and the perpetrators held to maximum account for it. In many cases, I believe what these people are doing is treasonous at least, a crime against humanity at worst, and that the punishment must fit the crime exactly as prescribed for both sets of offenses.
And here’s the kicker: For me, these feelings are beginning to extend to anyone who in any way could support the evil these people are foisting on America and mankind. I’m starting to despise anyone who still calls him/herself a Democrat, and, honestly, I’m finding the same feelings for many who claim to be Republicans but who seem willing (eager?) to compromise with “the other side.” My tolerance for “compromise” has reached its end.
It seems I’m fully imbued with the necessary zealotry of war...the cold war that is here now, and perhaps, God forbid, any escalation that might come if the ANTIFA and BLM crowd push their violence too far.
It would be easy to say that I’m inflamed because I’m “low information” or have a diminished capacity for reasoned thought, but exactly the opposite is true. I devour information and my processing skills are formidable. Viewed from that lens, I’m deeply concerned that our current and growing tribulations could devolve into even deeper conflict.
The battlefield of ideas seems to be weakening, creating the terrible potential that there will be just one awful battlefield left (again, something all decent people devoutly hope to avoid). Much as I decry violence, my brain, perhaps, looking at what leftists have proven willing to do, views this outcome as inevitable and is therefore preparing the way for it.
It may be that this is the root of the unease settling upon much of the American population. It isn’t confusion and it isn’t merely fear. It certainly features elements of disbelief, but that is part and parcel of making the shift from “normalcy bias,” which permits us to be reasonable in the face of uncertainty, to zealotry, which permits us to be certain in unreasonable times.
These are very unreasonable times.
We’re settling into the age of zealots and, as frightening as the prospect may be, this means that to push forward into a dubious tomorrow we’ll all have to embrace our inner zealot with what’s left of today.
God help us all.
Jackson P. Chamberlain is a right-leaning, liberty-loving husband and father whose American heritage dates back nearly four hundred years. He writes from his home at the base of the Appalachian Mountains. He can be found on GETTR @jpchamberlain, or on MeWe as Jackson Chamberlain. He does not do Facebook or Twitter.
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