(…there’s not likely to be any joy in Mudville we can expect to come from it)

This presidential election cycle shows us how far astray we citizens of Mudville (USA) have gone with our mindsets about what constitutes proper governance for a supposedly free, open, and democratic society. Reasoned debate about such issues is gone…epithets and mutual character assassination is in.

We seem to have abandoned the precepts and values our founders bequeathed to us. That is, abiding by the constitutional framework for “balance” rather than “extremes” on how to provide for or resolve conflicting individual and collective interests. And because we’re composed of such a polyglot and poly-cultural mix of ethnic, national, racial, and religious components, maintaining such a balance and avoiding extremes has been the guiding principle which has sustained us a nation. A principle epitomized by our nation’s motto:     E Pluribus Unum…(from many…one)…but regretfully no longer much emphasized or considered as valid anymore, because we have become a conglomeration, a hodgepodge, of squabbling “pluribus’ s” no longer abiding by the unifying concept of “unum.”

Today, however, we only see and hear the voices of those who would have us all abandon that broad central mesa of reasoned balance, calling us instead to plunge off into the deep canyons of extremism to the left and right of it. These are the voices of seductive demagoguery, offering peace, radical redistribution of wealth to have prosperity for all, and the transformation of our social matrix. The only differences between such extremist voices are the ways and means they proclaim to achieve such goals.

Well, we don’t know if this is just a momentary aberration, much like going off on the binge of a lost week-end; or, a misguided populist stampede brought on by frustration with the status quo which will plunge us permanently into either of those extremist canyon depths, extinguishing our traditional cultural and political freedoms as well as opportunities for economic and social mobility, so long the hallmarks of our success as a nation.

We hope not, because if it is the latter, then, regardless of who comes up to bat in November, there’s not likely to be much joy in Mudville to come from it.