Why Americans should eschew violence
The English language is massive, the most massive on the planet. It contains a lot of words we recognize, if we’re lucky, but seldom use. When we hear such words we may not know their meaning, although we often pretend to, and use context to estimate the meaning. I imagine “eschew” is such a word. “You eschew” makes one think you’re about to chew, or have chewed, or refuse to chew something.
Actually, the word means, from merriam-webster.com,
Definition of ESCHEW
My guess is that the entire world is evolving toward English as the sole language. The others will wither away, in perhaps 100 years. I wish I could be around in 2111 to find out.
To get back on topic, why should Americans eschew violence? Why should I ask such a question? Because, I believe someone could come along who does not eschew violence, but may decide to embrace it. America is as politically charged now, as polarized, as a Sears Die-Hard battery. The people at each end of the pole fervently believe they are right and the others are dead wrong, to the point of being evil. Mutual hatred is not excluded from the range of negative emotions we feel about each other.
If the situation is explosive, and violence occurs, the injured side tends to retaliate, the original aggressor can answer with more violence and things can escalate into a war of some magnitude.
What kinds of factors enter into explosiveness? If one side feels seriously exploited by the other, if one side thinks the other is cheating, violating the rules, increasing their power, is corrupt and unreasonable, and if the second side has similar feelings and perceptions about the first, then either or both sides may feel that violence is the only way to rectify things.
The violence may not even have to be initiated by an aggrieved party – some kook can do it for incomprehensible reasons, as in the assassination of Grand Duke Ferdinand which precipitated World War I. Because Europe was a polarized powderkeg, the war was triggered by this event.
While America is terribly polarized now, the powderkeg doesn’t appear to exist. But, there are conditions that could foster explosiveness. From the standpoint of conservatives, President Obama has been rather high-handed, often going against the will of the majority in his first two years in office. He has ruled in many cases by executive decree, ignoring Congress. His Congress, which was totally dominant until January of this year, often ignored all Republican attempts to introduce or amend legislation. Obama has pushed America toward Socialism, and seems to be suppressing domestic oil and coal production while promoting solar and wind energy, which are far from adequate to supply our needs. He has derogated America to the rest of the world. And, he has been almost criminally ineffective in solving our economic problems. If it should be proven that he was not born in the United States, he would be seen as one who has scammed his way into the presidency – illegitimate, but he is too stubborn and prideful to step down. That would create an explosive situation, I believe.
From the standpoint of Liberals, (here I have to use my imagination), Republicans are doing their best to block essential services to women and the poor; in effect, they want to kill them by denying such government freebies. They want to cut spending, which Liberals feel will cost jobs, and reduce or eliminate essential service and hard-won “rights” and entitlements. They want to cut taxes on the rich, thereby depriving government of much-needed revenue. They want to reduce the size of government, rather than grow it, and that is unthinkable to Liberals.
If I have characterized the attitude of the Left correctly, the above are some of the main reasons why violence could break out and might lead to: an attempted coup – a violent overthrowing of government.
I don’t believe any coup attempt has ever been made against the United States government. The Civil War, for example, was not an attempted coup. However, there have been numerous insurrections – one of the most recent, the strife in Wisconsin over Governor Scott Walker’s attempt to reign in state employee unions. Somehow, it remained almost 100% peaceful, although a state legislator was roughed up a bit, if I recall correctly. That is a credit to the demonstrators – emotions ran high, but they controlled themselves, by and large.
If we were edging toward a coup, I believe it might begin by mass demonstrations, perhaps violence done against the demonstrators to subdue them, then the army might decide to step in. That’s the way it usually plays out in foreign countries. Once a coup succeeds, the winning side thoroughly subdues the losers. In Cuba, for example, when Castro took over, hundreds were put against a wall and shot. Such things are almost unthinkable in America right now, but should violence break out, they might become thinkable in a hurry.
Violence, insurrection and attempted coups are happening in many locations in the world. We can never be certain such things won’t happen here. In order to prevent them, we must continue to eschew (or shun, if you prefer) violence.