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  • Writer's pictureB. Thomas Marking

Let's call it a Polepidemic

Updated: Sep 27, 2021

Covid is not the only plague we're dealing with.

I struggle to grasp the severity of the symptoms being presented by my nation. An invisible organism has targeted us all, reminding our kind that the human infestation of Earth can be eradicated in the blink of time’s eye. But there is more bad news to bear.

Under the cover of the fear this pandemic has visited upon the world, in the United States of America, a virulent new strain of an old plague has made great strides as well.

It is an opportunistic virus that escaped from the political laboratory that was our fledgling nation. Our first President alerted us to its presence and raised the alarm in his farewell address. George Washington now speaks to us from his grave with timeless truth, warning that the “spirit of party” will “enfeeble the sacred ties” that bind us as Americans. His enlightened soul saw this disease as our nation’s worst enemy.

“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.”

While the germ of party has been in our body politic almost from birth, the worry now is that our antibodies are being diminished daily, allowing the cancer to spread. The degeneration was first noted in our public media. Turning away from their mission to inform, many radio and television channels now serve only to indoctrinate.

Social media emerged as a promising new drug in the fight against misinformation. However, it was quickly neutralized and subverted to facilitate the contagion of disunion. The malady of party then spread to our educational institutions, from university to grade school. Our history is now synthesized rather than studied, and the minds of our young are now encouraged to indict, rather than inquire. Then follows the business world. Suddenly it is deemed more profitable to be partisan than to be neutral.

Thus, we seem to be on a path well marked by civilizations long gone – the path our first president feared most. Many good patriots are trying to address the symptoms of this American epidemic. The cure, however, can only be found at the source, in the houses wherein dwell the political leper colonies of our time – the parties.

2 June 2021


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