Grief is a powerful emotion. And a necessary one.
Grief is brought upon by loss, often personal. The more personal the loss, the deeper the grief. Dennis Prager described a Jewish custom surrounding the grieving process, called Shiva. To “sit Shiva,” one actively grieves for a seven-day period, during which time he does nothing except receive visitors. According to Mr. Prager (and ancient wisdom), it is imperative to take the time to actively engage the grieving process. Too often, in a rush to normalcy, many try to accelerate the grieving process, thinking that the sooner they get through the grieving process, the quicker they can get back to normal and be happy again.
While grief is handled by each one of us personally, and in different ways, there have been times in our past where we have shared a collective, national grief; the JFK assassination and funeral, the Challenger disaster, and others. Immediately following these events, we pulled together, as Americans. We were, for a time, one people. Not Democrat or Republican. Christian, Jew, or atheist. Neither were we black or white.
Few speeches epitomize the coming together in a common cause, grief, than Ronald Reagan’s Challenger televised speech on Jan. 28, 1986.
Recent tragedies have seen division where there was once unity. Barack Obama, and liberal activists have hijacked grief and turned it into anger – for no other (apparent) reason than to advance a political agenda. Their calculus: expansion through division.
This tactic can be seen in liberal actions following Gabby Giffords’s shooting. On hearing the news, for a moment, I grieved. I grieved for Gabby Giffords. I grieved for the other victims that day also. Sadly, that moment was rocked by social media liberal activists “using” the tragedy to attack Republicans generally, and Sarah Palin specifically. My grief, and the grief of countless Americans, was hijacked. Stolen. For no other purpose than to score political points against an opponent. That facts didn’t support their narrative didn’t keep them from hijacking the moment.
This act was despicable but, sadly, for Democrats, formative. They appear to have learned that the sum parts of division are (seemingly) greater than the whole parts of solidarity, and that grief is a strong catalyst to anger.
In recent tragedies, where there was opportunity to unite, Barack Obama, Al Sharpton, #BlackLivesMatter, the media, et al. have hijacked grief and “used” it to stoke anger and division. (Baltimore, Charleston, ISIS, Boko Haram, Chattanooga). Even Cecil the Lion. Where I might be inclined to grieve the loss of this majestic animal, while at the same time support hunting, I have been moved to having to choose sides. The left is using Cecil as a cudgel to divide.
As grief is a deep emotion, so is hope. I hope that grief can be “used” to unite.