I'm finding life in these United States to be ironic these days. It's the understatement of the old and new year, but this is what I see:
You have a "grass-roots" political movement that is about "liberty" and "maintaining freedom" that has a habit of threatening with violence those who exercise their First Amendment rights to free speech they don't happen to agree with. And in some cases--like with Rep. Gifford from Arizona yesterday--they act on their violent impulses. (It is true that we do not know the shooter's motive yet. However, in this political climate, it's hard to say that it's not politically motivated).
You have many political programs on television that are about "getting to the truth" that don't provide a shred of factual evidence for anything, just paranoid conspiracy theories--hateful ones. And these are widely accepted as fact by a public that, in its quest for truth, sees no need to question anything.
You have a majority of people who want to stop the madness, and yet their voices seem to be unheard.
You have groups (often related to the ones mentioned above) that are on "God's" side, claiming to be champions of Christianity in this country, that do nothing to promote compassion and everything to promote hatred, prejudice and separation. Not that this is so unique in history. But it is ironic.
You have a political party gaining power that likes to complain about the existing government, to tear down everything it does, and yet provides no real alternative solutions to the problems facing this country. Of course, that would involve looking at facts, and, well--see my second point above.
This same political party defends the right of 1% of the country--the uber-rich--and treats the poor, starving, unemployed, and/or uninsured like they are parasites. Government apparently has nothing to do with providing for its citizens. While--ironically, of course--I can recall another country where the majority of people were on bread lines and the money was in the hands of a very few--the Soviet Union before 1990 (and maybe after, to a point).
The push for de-regulation suggests an idealized humanity in the business world that will "do the right thing" and not be greedy. Somehow it is forgotten that the crisis we're in is the result of greed, and the fact that there's a crisis won't stop it. Oh, and there's no need to address climate change, because all of those weirdos who base things on "scientific fact" and don't believe God will fix it are just heathens.
Did I mention that we have a secular government? Yeah, that's another irony.
Speaking of the government--the Department of Justice and a Congressional committee are now bent on making Wikileaks a terrorist organization for leaking cables that should have been better protected if they were so sensitive, especially in this day and age, where nothing is private. While people like Sarah Palin can post a map with gun targets and names of Democratic congresspeople, and Rep. Michelle Bachman can encourage her constituents to engage in an armed uprising against the government, and those people are somehow not terrorists. Their free speech is "protected". (Whatever happened to the Sedition Act?)
So tell me--what is the way to make this country less "ironic"? Violence is certainly not the answer. And Obama has tried the "sitting down and talking reasonably" method, which has not worked since the beginning of his Presidency. He hasn't figured that out yet, apparently, or maybe believes that he'll find a moderate Republican congressperson hiding behind a tree somewhere. So, reasonable debate and a dispassionate look at the facts is apparently out, too. So, what's left? Do we have to let the right utterly destroy everything before people wake up and realize it was a huge mistake? And could we reverse the mistake at that point?
This is the Shadow side of the Collective Unconscious of this nation, and it's an ugly thing to confront. I don't know how these negatives can be integrated, but it probably needs to start with accountability. Freedom doesn't mean that you can do what you want with no consideration of others. With freedom comes great responsibility, and that's never been more evident.
So, nation--this isn't Lord of the Flies. Start behaving like adults. This involves respecting your fellow humans, whether you agree with them or not, whether you personally like them or not. You can "fight" in honorable ways. And take responsibility for your actions. If there are no ground rules for the debate, then no one solves anything and everyone destroys everything.