Polyglots are those rare individuals who seem to have unlimited capacity when it comes to languages. It is not uncommon for them to have an excellent command of a dozen or more.
The internet is full of “campy” YouTube videos that show them at their best. A polyglot will show up to a small group of people, international students, for example, and engage in conversation with all of them, each in their native tongue. It is quite impressive, especially to those of us who struggle to express ourselves in just one language.
After watching a few of these videos, it made me wonder: “Maybe Washington DC’s only true hope for any meaningful conciliation lies with a ‘Political Polyglot.’” Yes, that is what is needed. Someone who can speak all languages, not just Democrat or Republican but Special Interest, as well.
This brings another interesting idea to the table.
What side will such a person come from?
The Left, the Right, Inside, Outside? Who knows? Does such a person exist?
Perhaps more directly, can such a person exist today, given all that has happened, all that is happening, and all that is about to happen? It does seem like quite a tall order.
Who can be a peacemaker when the political spectrum has been splintered into discrete, sometimes identifiable (sometimes not) groups, each with their own agenda?
It seems that “freedom” and “democracy” have become words or parts of phrases meant to be all things to all people. Of course, we know that this is impossible.
In our everyday lives, we are confronted by choices that have come to define social order. More often than not, these choices have been made for us. They have become the rules and regulations that govern our daily lives—the law(s) of the land.
Somewhere along the way, after World War II, when American soldiers came back from the war, eager to put it behind them and concentrate on their jobs, families, sports, leisure, and “living the American Dream,” things changed.
At first, this change was not recognized. I am talking about the type of change that is really dangerous. “Boiling the Frog” dangerous.
Was the start of this change introduced in the late 1960s when, seemingly, all of a sudden, the “hippies” appeared?
Was it later, in the 1970s, when, as Merle Haggard once relayed to us in one of his songs: “Nixon lied to us all, on TV”?
Was it in the 1980s, you know, the fast-paced “live for today because tomorrow might never come” attitude reflected in TV shows of that era (Miami Vice, comes to mind)?
Was it in the 1990s, when the Soviet Union lost her iron grip on the citizens of Mother Russia?
Was it in the 2000s when Facebook and YouTube put “social” into social media?
Was it in the last decade defined by the aftermath of the 2008 “Financial Crisis?
The result of over 50 years of slow, seemingly imperceptible change has left us wondering what happened. Each decade did its small part to influence the next.
Now all those changes, in aggregate, have redefined society – the type of change that is extremely dangerous.
In particular, this past year has not been easy.
The State has imposed its will over its people. Lockdowns, shutdowns, and mandates have all taken their toll. For some, it wasn’t really possible to go from being an “independent businessman” to a “ward of the State.” The longer the fear of the virus persisted, the more people wanted to confront it. The mental anguish of what amounted to an endless siege on patience gave way to a common rallying cry: “ I just want to go back to work.
It was at this point that people in states like New York and California started to recognize and appreciate that there was a better way. A better way somewhere else. Like Florida. Or Texas.
And, after a time, rather than stick and stay, they left. This is what happened. Today, the flight to the relative safety of normality continues.
Politics is a clear reflection of society at any given time. In this time, that reflection is hard to make out. Too many people are using the same mirror. We can’t really distinguish who is who or what is what. That is our current view back from the looking glass.
And that is precisely why there such a deep division in American society today. There is such a vast kaleidoscope of special interests that exists on both the Left and the Right that it is much easier to just pick a side.
On the Left you get it all: strongly socialist, liberal, radicals, social democrats – you get the picture – pretty well everybody who does not identify themselves as from the Right. The same goes for the Right: conservatives, neo-conservatives, right-wing elite, and so on.
As an example, look up “Far-Right Politics” on Wikipedia. There is a photo of Mussolini with a caption reading: “founder of Italian Fascism, a far-right ideology.” I don’t know what you learned in history class all those years ago, but the description is accurate with the replacement of the word “right” with the word “left.”
That is what my generation was taught.
We accepted it without question.
Just like the children of today.
Whatever they come to read, they come to believe. The generation gap widens with every revision of science, history, and culture. Ok, I know what you’re thinking: “Thank goodness for mathematics.”
Geophysicists are acutely aware of the earth’s magnetic field. They do not have to be told that the magnetic field of the earth has a history of reversals.
Just like the history books of today, especially the ever-changing history book that most people have come to rely upon – the internet – there are a lot of “reversals” going on. No wonder people, especially older ones with good memories, sometimes wake up dazed and confused.
So where is the “middle” when there really doesn’t seem to be much clear definition at either end? How can there ever be a compromise?
*Ivan here. I recently watched an interview with Ricky Gervais who summed things up best. He was asked by the interviewer about which side of politics (left or right) he saw as the biggest threat against the freedom of expression today. He responded by saying there is no more sides anymore because it goes from left and right, to the extreme left and extreme right where it all meets up again. Kind of like John’s Mussolini example. See below.
Well, don’t become too depressed. There actually is hope.
Somewhere amongst all the noise is that one clear voice.
The voice of the “Political Polyglot”, the one who can speak to everyone in their own tongue.
Washington, DC, needs you badly right now. Please hurry.
– John Top.