If I told you that I missed writing a Musing last week because I was under the weather, I would be telling the truth. But I wouldn’t be telling you the whole truth. Certainly, some of the fogginess in my mind came from the medication I was taking and was a result of my body working on healing, but in all honesty, much of it was coming from feeling emotionally ungrounded.
Every once in a while, a bigamist or a con-artist or even a mass-murderer is unmasked. He turns out to be the nice guy who everyone liked. His wife, his neighbors, his employer all had no idea that he was a monster. I don’t think that I’m the only one who feels unsteady when such news breaks and is hyped all over the media. Suddenly, I start looking at people I know and…wondering. I start seeing fault lines in ground that I had always thought of as rock steady.
I feel that way now as I am coming to accept that Joe Biden will be sworn in as our next president. This certainly isn’t the first election where my preferred candidate lost. That is a normal fact of life when one lives in a free country. I didn’t vote for Bill Clinton or for Barack Obama. Yet, I understood their appeal and the limited appeal of their Republican opponents. I felt that an honest and fair election had taken place and even though I worried about the repercussions, I accepted them.
This election is different. The unrestrained hatred of President Trump, the vitriolic dishonesty of the mainstream press, the suppression of information and the deliberate release of misinformation over the past four years has me looking at the incoming administration and…wondering.
Will I be forced to choose between my own religious, moral, patriotic, and ethical beliefs versus obedience to those running the government? I recently read a piece written by the daughter of two Soviet dissidents living in the now-extinct U.S.S.R. When her mother and father acted in opposition to the oppressive government, they did not know that they would prevail. That is always the pattern in a fight against wrong.
We are in the final day of the holiday of Chanukah where we speak daily of God’s allowing the weak to prevail against the strong, the righteous to triumph over the wicked. When the Maccabees fought, they did not know of their eventual (and sadly, temporary, triumph). Neither did the Union soldiers fighting against the Confederacy during the American Civil War or the Allies fighting against the Nazis in World War II. What is important to remember, is that while the fight ultimately was against evil ideas put into practice, many of the people who ended up siding with those immoral causes were aligned on that side by fear, geography, ignorance, and a host of other reasons, not from an ideological agreement.
I do believe that Leftism is not just wrong, but evil and incompatible with the Constitution. Identifying when Leftism starts dominating the Democrat Party rather than just being a force within it, will be an important moment in our nation’s history. It is a moment that I pray we’ll never face, but that prayer is uttered while teetering on shaky ground.
What is more important than understanding first principles?
After years of being asked for a program like this…
Announcing: Scrolling through Scripture
an online course with Rabbi Daniel Lapin