Writing some wrongs.

For whatever reason, my brain is completely awake at 4:00 A.M. and compelling me to spill whatever comes to mind on here. There is no subject matter driving this deluge, just pure word soup.

Now a game of definitions, since my mind seems dead set on me reminding myself: sophists. What is a sophist? Off to dictionary.com to find out…


So it is near what I thought it was. I consider myself somewhat of a sophist, but the mere act of considering my place in the universe applies the label.

Since this will be entirely tangential, the dictionary.com Word of the Day feature has been noteworthy over the past week. I believe there may be some fellow deviants on staff… Since the Supreme Court has decided to set the clock back 50 years, the words of the day have been, in order: fortuitous, prerogative, opprobrious, choice, dissent, draconian, autonomy. I may be digging for clues but the list seems thematic… In any matter, it only bolsters my approval of them as my preferred purveyors of word porn.

The decision handed down by one of our most hallowed institutions is one that I am still trying to unpack, perhaps completely in vain. It would seem as though the vocal minority has, at long last, become loud enough to smother all reasonable conversation.

Look, I get it.

I’ve been so consumed by a concept that to be told it was false was akin to telling a Christian there is no god. It hasn’t happened often but when it did it felt like structural damage. When this kind of realization happens it is structural. Something underneath a cherished ideal has broken. In this instance, the ideal that life has sanctity. But unpack that one notion, logically speaking, within the context of modern conservatism. The same conservatism that avidly supports carrying firearms openly in public, unironically advocates for the death penalty, and finds social programs to be equivalent to communism.

Certainly those three points alone should be sufficient, plain sight evidence that it’s impossible to square a pro-life position with the other baggage it is almost sure to carry. Maybe you’re a stickler for details though, and you need more counterpoints for the argument. No problem, modern conservatism is chock full of hypocrisy.

The same folks who are rabidly pro-life are anti-immigration. The cries of foul don’t apply to the security of our borders, apparently. There is a xenophobia underpinning this in nearly every conceivable context. It’s never hard to spot either, just look for phrases such as “I’m not a racist, but:” and “They’re taking all of the jobs.” 1.) Yes you are, and: 2.) Open employment and unemployment figures say you’re full of shit. Own the position. If you’re going to be a gun-carrying, death is on the table as a punishment, not in my back yard conservative, be that loudly, or not at all. Helps point you out to the rest of us.
American exceptionalism is simply a fact that you have to accept at face value. Despite the preponderance of evidence that we are fairly far from the top on nearly every metric of liberty. A cage can feel free if it’s big enough to stretch out in. Entirely too many people are held prisoner by this false notion, but it can be nearly impossible to be shaken from this blissful ignorance.

It must be the nature of every United States citizen to be rebellious in some way, and I am no exception to this. I post this a few days before the most ‘MERICAN of holidays, a day dedicated to when we officially stole a tract of dirt and water from the British. But we own it as much as they do, which is to say not at all. We are living borrowed time on borrowed soil. In any meaningful scale of time, this experiment in democracy will seem like a cute little human nothing. Because it is nothing. It is a self-serving, self-congratulatory pat on the back. This place isn’t special, the founders weren’t special, and the British weren’t especially bothered when we told them to piss off. What made us different were ideas, but ideas can and must be questioned. Ideas must be held in the crucible of time ad infinitum. Our responsibility, a truly patriotic duty, is to question what the founders presented as fact in modern context. It has been the responsibility of every generation since we were founded as a nation and the generations of my lifetime should be no exception.

But I fear for those among us who see the writing on the wall: Context has been abandoned entirely. The space once occupied by nuance and an ability to maintain positive discourse has had the air pushed from it. Our living documents are being laid to rest by people who want to kill conversation, because conversation inevitably raises questions, and questions demand an accounting. The rug we continue to sweep problems under is 1,776 feet tall, it’s colloquially called the Freedom Tower, and it looks a lot like a middle finger to the rest of the world. Because we stopped wanting to be a part of that world a long time ago.

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