In the real world, we're terrified to talk about what matters

There is really nothing to cheer about on any front, is there?  Over the last year and a half, life in the world has been on auto-pilot.  Even before Afghanistan fell, the unsticking of civilization's glue had cast a pall of bewildered detachment over humanity.  Now add to that total numbing disbelief.

People I talk to, casually or not so casually, have a guarded demeanor on topics beyond the weather.  If I say what I really think, am I going to get awkward pushback or maybe morally reprimanded?  Mostly, people avoid hard subjects like Afghanistan; they prefer to stick with the safety of COVID.  Kabul and Biden are an unmitigated tragedy of vast uncivilized proportions. 

Afghanistan strikes close to home from thousands of miles away.  We can chillingly put ourselves in those stranded peoples' shoes because they are civilians like us.  What if one of those dozens of California high school students and their parents stuck in Afghanistan were your daughter or son?

Over decades, the media have assumed the tragic purpose of speaking for us.  I use the word "tragic" because we have relinquished our voice to the media to say what we should say ourselves but haven't the courage.  We accede to the media our advocacy because we have squandered the moral strength to advocate for ourselves.  Afghanistan and all things current events echo the Gospel of Luke, where we are warned that men's hearts will fail them over such things as "the distress of nations, with perplexity" (21:25-26).  If what's going on with Kabul and our Executive Branch isn't distressing in a way not seen in most of our lifetimes and isn't perplexing to the point of breathtaking in its remorseless vanity, I don't know what is.

I had a professor who, when asked a question for which there were only unsatisfactory answers, would simply reply, "Well, what to say?"  It was a professorial affectation.  We were college students.  Lives were not hanging in the balance.  Lives are hanging in the balance now.  As civilized Americans, we need to loudly voice serious questions about our leaders' abilities to bear the weight that accompanies civilization and demand more than a vice-presidential "giggle."  We need to press for immediate serious solutions.  The ideological media thrive on unsatisfactory answers because it is in their blood and a lead-in to the next news cycle.

It is not too late to advocate for America.  Stop viewing our country's slide into horror as "media coverage."  Biden, et al. didn't stumble into this.  There are answers as to why the U.S. is in this postmodern military position.  Our military is not this helpless.  Demand action. 

Spruce Fontaine is an artist and retired college art instructor.

Image: Thijs Paanakker via Flickr.

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