Last year, in a series titled “A Better Human Story,” I laid out a framework for understanding – in purely secular terms – how central to the story of our species has been a dynamic that can reasonably be called “the battle between good and evil.” (Or, for those who recoil at such words, the battle between two coherent forces– one that promotes wholeness in the world, and one that fosters brokenness.)
Now, in a new series, I will focus on the challenge we as Americans face in these times, as our nation is in the throes of one of the most dramatic confrontations between “good and evil” ever to occur in our nation’s history.
And I will offer an idea about how that battle might best be fought.
“A Better Human Story” showed how it was inevitable that a species that evolves biologically and then departs from the biologically-evolved order through the breakthrough into civilization, will be caught between those two conflicting, coherent forces.
I demonstrated how the nature of biological evolution is such that one of those forces will work to create the kinds of wholeness that serve and enhance life. And that the breakout into civilization will inevitably unleash a force of brokenness that destroys and degrades life. (And along the way, I sought to demonstrate how this dynamic is essential to any deep understanding of the crisis that has emerged in the American power system over the past generation.)
For the past 14 years, I’ve been writing about how the force of brokenness – which has always been woven into the fabric of civilized societies, including American civilization — has dramatically increased its power in our nation. Now, the power of that force of brokenness in America has risen to the point where it became possible for a monstrous man like Donald Trump to become President.
This grotesque development — as this President damages the nation in countless ways — has at last awakened tens of millions of Americans, who had been complacent as this crisis as unfolded, to how profoundly awry things have gone. That rude awakening has made this a time of great distress for a great many citizens of this country.
Fortunately, the very shock of seeing the power of the presidency being entrusted to someone who regularly shows himself to be virtually a pure channel of brokenness – someone whom almost all Americans of a previous era would have regarded as an unthinkable choice for President — has aroused the better parts of the nation to protect what’s best about America.
At last the battle is joined.
It is not certain what the outcome of the ongoing battle will be, whether it will be the best or the worst of the elements in America that will prevail. But the battle is being fought in full view.
On the one side, we see the force of brokenness represented by this President together with his enablers and supporters.
And on the other side, we see the force of wholeness represented by
- the outstanding work of Robert Mueller and his team, representing the rule of law;
- the people who have risen up under such banners as “Never Again” and “MeToo”;
- the free press, uncovering important truths and delivering them to the citizenry; and
- the emerging “Blue Wave” powered by voters who are determined to save American democracy.
Thanks to this rallying of America’s better components, this is a moment not only a time of great peril, but also of great opportunity — a time when it is more possible than it was when the danger was less blatant for significant movement toward the good.
(Actually, there was another moment of real opportunity: the election of Barack Obama in 2008, when the power of the force of brokenness had not yet so great. But sadly — as I repeatedly wrote about, starting in 2009 and all the way into 2016 — that opportunity was tragically squandered. More on that to come– not to castigate that fine man, but to expose truths about Liberal America that continue to weaken its ability to fight and win this battle.)
In any society, the balance of power between the forces of good and evil can shift. It is in those terms that we should understand how, over the past generation, the civilization of the United States has been degraded.
Among the factors that can shift that balance are how well each side understands the nature of the battlefield, and the quality of the strategies each side employs. The strategies of the “good guys” in America have been seriously defective for quite a while. In large part, that has been because of a blindness, among the “good guys,” to the dark reality rising in the nation, a failure to recognize the ongoing battle for “the soul of America.”
It is of vital importance, for the future of this nation – and therefore, indeed, to the future of humankind – that the force of wholeness overcome those past weaknesses and blindnesses.
Now that the rise of Trump to the Presidency has caused the proverbial scales to fall from many peoples eyes — Was blind, but now I see– and has energized many who were complacent — Was weak, but now I’m strong — the possibilities have grown for the force of wholeness in America to execute an effective strategy.
But, as will be shown in future installments, some of the blindness and the weakness persists. And they contribute, I will argue, to the neglect of an important component of a wise strategy.
It will be the central purpose of this series to advocate for the adoption of that neglected — but, I will argue, essential — part of an overall strategy.