When The Center Collapses From Pressures On The Extremes

What do we do when caught in a Spring thunderstorm…? We look for cover. Usually that means someplace safe away from any extremely exposed places out there. But right now we seem to be living with the astonishing irony of national extremism. Treading extremes wherever we find them.

We have extremist candidates pushing both the Left and Right agendas off to the edges….we have extremist entertainment featuring everything from “extreme sports” to “extreme make-overs” to extreme monster themes…. we even have more extreme anti-government undergrounds than we have foreign terrorists.

This is not exactly new in our history, which is why various leaders have over the years echoed a “Come Home America” call. That was a very different populist’s reminder that in a country like ours with so many pluralities, hanging on to the solid center of things is best the place to be….is the place millions of refugees around the world are seeking….is the place where thousands of college graduates on the brink of their new lives seem to be turning.

Nothing’s wrong with coming-home. With finding the cohesion of the center. With re-thinking the heat of the many firebrands in the land, and instead re-looking for the light of our many common traditions. Like the motto has it: “E Pluribus Unum,” one out of many. Benjamin Franklin said it so well: “We must indeed all hang together or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

Today’s firebrands — political, financial and military alike — can’t seem to hear those words. They are each standing too far out on the extremes. They are consumed with de-legitimatizing our Presidents as soon as they are elected [eg. Bush, Obama, Trump]. But please, that’s no place to stand if this Republic expects to survive beyond the 300-year lifespan of other great Republics like Greece and Rome.

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