Tap, tap. Can you hear it? At times it’s faint. Deafening, as we speak. A dull thud when I was younger. Now, it hits with an ear ringing metallic clang. Tap, tap, tap, it repeats, as the wedge that divides us is hammered deeper into society’s foundation.
Today, this week, maybe into spring, the wedge is gun control. “Take them from us and you’ll have 1776 all over again. Do your hear me Bud?” “Why do gun owners think they need 100 round clips on war weapons? Don’t they see our children are dying?” The two sides have lined up again, with a gap between us that neither side is willing to cross in compromise.
The axe man is the only one making progress, as he drives his wedge deeper, into the canyon, that once was only a gully. Tap tap…
When the political me awakened it was to the banging of the Viet Nam wedge. The impassioned shouts of “America, love it our leave it” from a generation expecting its children to become cannon fodder for a war reduced to some vague notion of a domino in a larger non shooting war. “Hell no, we won’t go”, eventually ended the war, as one side’s heads hung low at the thought of the ”good guys” losing. The domino turned out to be less a threat than the incessant tapping of a country choosing sides.
24 hour news allows the beat of the tapping to get faster. “Weapons of mass destruction, so Saddam must die!” Wait a minute…weren’t the Al Qaida camps in Afghanistan? “They’re all Muslims.”
“Drill baby drill!” “Please slow down. There is so much evidence fossil fuels are destroying earth’s ability to support us.” “This is Al Gore’s fault!” “People are dying for oil when technology exists that can move us forward without it.”
There is no shortage of axes or shouting Americans to help drive the wedge. Its all too clear the issues that divide us are the only thing changing.
“Obama is a foreigner.” “The country needs a better healthcare system.” “Marriage rights for all people.” “The faggots will want to marry sheep next.“
We are on the fast track to two Americas, red and blue, rich and poor…right or wrong! That’s it right there! We’re so busy driving our wedge, we’ve lost the nuisance of seeking solutions by seeing the other side’s point of view.
Since there are so few clear-cut issues with a right and wrong answer, we can only re-stitch the tears in or National fabric by trying to hear what the other guy is saying through clenched teeth.
I don’t understand why my kids and my wife are in danger of dying at school, at work or on the street, so you can feel safe from government oppression, but I’ll to hear you, because I can tell you are sincere in your belief. All I ask it that you explain calmly, and if I ask tough questions answer them, or admit you don’t know. Don’t threaten me, or call me names. I’ll make you the same promises. The safety of the people I love is as important to me as you, we just see different paths leading there.
Just maybe we can build a bridge across the divide. It’ll be weak at first, but with the axe man out of work, perhaps we can get him to help us build it stronger. His hammer goes…tap, tap, tap.