THE WOODS WERE DARK AND DEEP

2016 American elections.  “Crooked Hillary. Lying Hillary. Untrustworthy Hillary. Jail her!”  These words ring out across America on a daily basis – loud and certain.

Part I – Our distant grand parents and their contemporaries didn’t live as we do today. They lived in fear of predatory wolves and gigantic lions. Serious cuts from careless falls in the rough forest could mean death from infections not well understood. Equally starving neighbors from other tribes could steal food, women and children.

Men ruled with iron fists and women had to obey or suffer beatings. Rituals were cruel. Wild fires had nothing to control them.

Therefor the world was Dangerous with a capital “D”.”

Ever alert for danger every day, from the day they walked as children, their bodies evolved into today’s homo sapiens. Sapien means wise in Latin and homo refers to our species and even ancestors from eons past.

So we evolved to be alert for dangers that no longer exist. There are no wolves or lions in our lives. Strangers will not harm us even if they live in caves many miles from ours. Cuts heal and we are surrounded by the greatest country and neighboring countries ever.

The capital “D” situation above is why we only pay attention to bad news – we are preconditioned to be alert for danger. Good news tends to be overlooked.

A good news program on TV will sell cereal to a smaller audience than news of floods, war, terrorism, crime and violence. The bad stuff is relatively rare events in our lives. I’ve never heard a gun fired even though I’ve lived in great cities for my share of years. Therefor we should be very analytical when viewing the news whether it is broadcast, in print or on social media.

Part II – Now we are out of the woods and in another deep and dark period.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease is true. Also true is, “He who makes the most persistent and loudest accusations is believed by many. ”

McCarthyism – remember that? Communists were everywhere in government, universities, and in media and entertainment companies. The Commies were stealing America’s secrets, corrupting our youth with perverted ideas and betraying our country.

Innocent lives were ruined, and just men were hounded out of government, the entertainment industry, and universities. McCarthy’s loud accusations were all based on paranoia and lies. His circus was a national distraction and a black mark on our history.

Think about how lies and paranoia were the basis for the Salem, Massachusetts witch trials and executions, the American Indian removal, Hitler’s vendetta against Jews, and other calamities in human history. If people say something loud enough, it can start to seem like the awful truth.

Crooked Hillary. Lying Hillary. Untrustworthy Hillary. Jail her! These words ring out across America on a daily basis – loud and certain.

Unfortunately these cries ignore the American legal system that declares, “Persons accused of crimes must be presumed innocent, until proven guilty in a court of law.”

Bill and Hillary Clinton have been before courts of law, special prosecutors, the FBI, and numerous opposition-led congressional committees. They have not been proven guilty of crimes. Yet right-wing media and unscrupulous politicians bring up Whitewater cases and the death of Vince Foster over and over again.

I have a young friend who is the founder and president of a Young Republicans Club. She will vote this year for the first time. I mentioned that I was reading Hillary Clinton’s book Hard Choices, to her and her younger brother and sister. An amazing thing happened – she and her siblings suddenly danced away and out of the room shouting, “Liar, Liar, Liar.”

I was left, with my mouth agape. It is hard to have meaningful discussions about the issues of the day with people who shout at you.

Most people read only headlines and hear only negatives. After all, we are homos sapiens – predisposed to see danger. We sometimes miss the big picture – it is a beautiful world and getting better by most measures.

The 2016 Elections will be decided by the time this book goes to print. In conclusion allow me to say, let’s pray that sapient decisions are made.

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