In recent weeks I have had friends and acquaintances express concerns about chaos in America and give their hypotheses about why it is happening. I stress, these were friends and not media commentators. Because they are friends, I am going to address their hypotheses and then develop my own hypothesis. I will not go into great detail. I will paint with a broad brush, just enough to give the general ideas.

From the Right. Friends on the right have suggested chaos is an intentional plan by the left.

Some think Biden is causing economic problems to create chaos. Others believe the justice system is being weaponized. They fear Biden will declare Marshall Law. By whatever means, they believe the intention is clear– create chaos so the left can instill a socialist/ communist government.

From the Left. Friends on the left have suggested chaos is the result of an intentional plan by the right.

They believe the chaos is going on in order for Trump to be instilled as a dictator.

Interestingly, William Shakespeare can used to support their hypothesis. In Henry VI, two men. Jack Cade and Dick the Butcher were plotting. Dick uttered the famous line “The first thing to do is to kill all the lawyers.” The line has been widely quoted usually within the context that lawyers are bad for society.

The problem is — the opposite meaning is what Shakespeare intended. Having lawyers and a legal system prevents chaos and is necessary for a good society. The two men were plotting to create chaos by killing the lawyers so they could overthrow the government.

The meaning is clear if you want to create chaos and overthrow the government and install yourself as the leader(dictator), attack the legal system, the DOJ, the FBI, prosecutors, judges, juries, officials overlooking the election system. Killing the lawyers (or the legal system) is one sure way to create chaos.

My Hypothesis.  I could offer my analysis of both positions but I prefer to give my own hypothesis. I believe the easiest way to create chaos is by self-righteous people in opposing political parties being convinced their way is the only way and the other side is evil and all wrong. Then they lead the way in uncivil discourse, name calling, bias interpretations and the exaggeration of events. One side claims everyone on the other side is racist, misogynist, deplorable, and serving the rich. The other side claims everyone on the first side is heathen, a cheat, a socialist/communists, trying to take away freedoms and your money.

Both sides believe they alone speak the truth and the other side is totally false.

 In my opinion, under those circumstances all an outside agency like Russia or China has to do to increase chaos is have their propaganda machines interject misinformation into the mix and stir.

I respectfully argue the latter hypothesis is the more likely cause of chaos in our current climate. If we collapse as a nation, AND I CERTAINLY HOPE WE DO NOT, but, if we do, I believe it will be because we collapse inward upon ourselves.

A friend posted the following quote by Yuval Levin, a very thoughtful conservative. I believe it is in harmony with my hypothesis.  “The cultural breakdown we are experiencing in American political life is not a function of our having forgotten how to agree with one another. It’s a function of our forgetting how to disagree with one another in a constructive way.”

One of my favorite quotes also fits my hypothesis. Martin Luther King said it very well “If we do not learn to live together as brothers (and sisters) we will die together as fools.”

This and That

  1. In last week’s blog I wrote of the difficulty letting go of material things that hold warm memories. A reader wrote and suggested taking pictures and putting them in folders on a computer. He said it helped him. I think it is an excellent suggestion.
  • I gave an excellent quote by Yuval Levin, a thoughtful conservative thinker. If you are interested, the following is a newsletter by a thoughtful person on the left.

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