“Will there be blood?” asks The Miami Herald‘s Leonard Pitts in today’s column. Given the violence at Donald Trump rallies and his apparent endorsing of it, Pitts wonders just how emboldened his supporting bullies might feel to perpetrate such acts on a wide scale should he be elected.
Perhaps even worse, should Trump be defeated, what will his disappointed supporters do if they feel the “rigged system” has let them down once again? Right wing violence has been a problem in this country for decades now. Let we forget, Pitts lists some of them:
“From the Oklahoma City bombing to the Atlanta Olympics bombing to a New York state plot to murder Muslims by radiation poisoning, to a massacre at an African-American church in Charleston, to the attempted bombing of a Martin Luther King Day parade in Spokane, to the crashing of an airplane into an IRS office in Austin to a mass shooting at a Planned Parenthood facility to, literally, dozens more.” Frightening to see them all massed together like that. How quickly we forget!
And this on the day when we learn that George Zimmerman is planning to auction off the gun with which he killed Trayvon Martin! No doubt, there will be plenty of potential customers.
So many of Donald Trump’s supporters seem to be white males who are fearful and angry that the world they used to think they dominated (and did, in so many ways) is changing and that power is being taken away from them by African Americans and Muslims and women and big government And this is precisely the demographic most likely to be associated with what I believe is rightly called “domestic terrorism.”
Unless and until we move away from the win-at-any-cost, my-way-or-the-highway, might-makes-right, “get-’em-out-a-here, get-’em-out” ethic that pervades so much of our American society today (and in”deed much of the world, if the truth be known) I am afraid that Leonard Pitts’ troubling scenario is all too likely.
What would we replace this prevailing ethic with? I suggest something very simple. Very simple indeed. Simple enough to be found in every major religion in the world and some which are not so major. Something Roman Catholic theologian, Hans Kung, calls “A Global Ethic.”
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Or, negatively stated:
What you do not wish done to you, do not do unto others.
Of course, “simple” does not equate with “easy.” But this global ethic actually works — in domestic policy, in economics, in politics, in religion, in international relations.
Such an ethic has not been tried and found wanting (as C. S. Lewis once said about Christianity itself). It has simply never been tried.
Perhaps it’s time.
Or, consider the alternative.