Epicureans are not encouraged to involve themselves, or to comment on politics. Quite right. But there has to be a limit if you see your country, not to mention your planet, picked apart and lied to. How can we have peace of mind seeing Russian agents actively subverting the country in full sight and the rulers of the country (millionaire political donors) doing nothing about it?
When I first traveled in America in the 60’s politics were dirty, as they are everywhere, but both parties wanted the best for America, debate was polite and compromises were struck. Few used foul language or ascribed unpatriotic motives to others, or spread clearly false news. One couple I encountered hitchiking believed the United Nations was an agent of the devil who had sent white-painted tanks which were, at that very moment, advancing through Pennsylvania and occupying it, proving that wingnut mews is not a modern invention. The crazies are always with us, usually in tiny numbers. Things have changed.
The pattern is obvious to anyone who can read. Trump says something patently untrue and corrects himself the next day. Fox News only reports on the comments on the first pronouncement but says nothing about the correction. This happens every day and has been scrupulously documented. This is euphemistically called “governance”. The result is that, according to a CNN poll, 67% of all Americans doubt there was Russian subversion of the general election and thinks that Trump did a fine job cloistered alone with Putin without so much as a secretary to record the conversation. What has happened to integrity and love of country when this has become the norm, fiercely defended by the political party once the staunchest defender of the American way of life? How can we stand by and see the country picked apart by Putin with the help of nearly half the US population?
This is the Epicurean dilemma. Personally, I think it is irresponsible to ignore it and hope it goes away, but I realise I am opening myself to justifiable criticism. But then this is not about me – it is about truth and integrity.