I have lived through several seismic shifts in our culture, and each one of those shifts has changed me, and I assume everyone else as well.
When I was younger I never thought much about the implication of cultural shifting, I just rode with it and tried to stay out of the way of anything I thought might turn out to be dangerous to my mental health.
For a writer, which is something I have been since the 1960s, mental health in very important.
As I grew, I found myself working hard to keep my perspective and understand the implications of the changes that were occurring. A lot of times I would be critical of them, especially if they didn’t make a lot of sense to me.
The older I got, the more I started to see that the world I was living is was one that was in a constant state of turmoil.
In the comfortable and relatively secure middle class world and democracy in which I lived the seismic shifts were mainly something I was observing. Other than the occasional periods of being between jobs, my life was pretty cushy and it was relatively easy to be philosophical about all the stuff that way going on outside my bubble.
That didn’t mean I was apathetic or uncaring. I mostly just felt lucky that my life wasn’t being torn apart by forces over which I had no control.
As I matured as a writer, I also matured as a thinker, and with that came a genuine clarity, at least in my mind, about the things that I was seeing around me. With that clarity came understanding. And with that understanding came peace of mind, all inside the bubble of being in a country where real chaos did not, for the most part, exist.
I was writing from the outside of a lot of the chaos that many places in the world were experiencing. The distance between me and that chaos was a buffer that protected me. But it was also a front row seat through which I could see things clearly. And write about lucidly.
Over the past couple of years, I have seen the chaos of the world edge closer and closer to my own front door.
What is happening literally 20 miles from where I am sitting right now, is, while, not unprecedented, something that is rippling though my little Canadian bubble. And what it signifies to me is that even when you think you are safe and removed from the chaos, you’re actually not.
The chaos is America today is something I have never experienced this up close and personal in my life. Maybe it has a lot to do with the fact that it’s in my face a lot more, because of all the media channels that are being dominated by it.
But it is nonetheless, quite unsettling. Because the clarity I have from my perch just slightly removed from all of this screams that this chaos is being powered by a degree of insanity that the US has not really experienced before.
You can agree of disagree with the politics of what is happening, but if you can’t can’t see the insanity of it, then I would strongly argue that you have your head stuck in the sand.
My country’s largest trading partner is the US. 70% of our exports go there and so our futures are inextricably bound by economics, as well as a shared belief in freedom and democracy.
But there is something very wrong down there. And I believe (the clarity things) that it is taking that country to a place where it has never been and really, at its core, does not want to go.
The fear that it being generated in America these days is not just hype. It’s real deal and it’s becoming more and more pervasive as it spreads.
I have been an close observer and honestly have never see this country in the kind of turmoil in which it finds itself. It feels very much like the beginnings of a huge seismic shift in the world order. And it scares the crap out of me.
I titled this piece The End Of The Innocence, because that’s exactly how I see it. My only hope is that the light at the end of this tunnel is not a runaway train coming at America.
My concern is echoed by an ever growing number of people who are much smarter and better informed than I am. But it is the same concern.
America is being steered off course by people who are all in over their heads and are being led by someone whose only agenda is self-enrichment. It is corruption and deceit on a scale we have never seen before.
And it really needs to be stopped before its too late.
That is not a political statement. But a fact based on everything that everyone not wearing political blinders or rose coloured glasses, can see clearly.