Yesterday was historic because I destroyed a two foot tall fire ant mound in my yard and our country finally resolved the festering Supreme Court debacle. My focus this week has been on gardening. But Saturday in the fall means college football. So I turned on the tube to see a battle of semi-literate behemoths from a couple of the colleges where I used to work. Before I could find the right channel, I stumbled on the news. It was long after the vote and I was hot and sweaty from the fire ant cauterization and getting raised beds ready for next year. The situation was so similar to the last Presidential election, Then, I was at Meadowcreek with no TV. We’d grilled steak and no one mentioned the election all night. Word finally filtered in from outside the next morning.
Dealing with fire ants is much easier than our political battles. There is no choice between the lesser of two evils. It’s just good versus evil. And no remorse when hundreds of beings perish under the flames of my charcoal fire ant eradication method. I did have some problems because the mound was so big. I didn’t want to dig into it and risk hordes of fire ants attacking me. So I got a fire going over the whole mound first. This enabled me to destroy gradually the mound as I scraped off the burnt layers to find still living ants and started the fire anew on top of them.
Finally I got down to the egg and winged ant (future queen) level. There I piled in the charcoal and, with lighter fluid, eradicated the heart of the nest where the queen lived. When I came back and no ant survived, I guess I felt like the anti-Kavanaugh folks would have felt had they won. Or maybe like some folks felt when Hillary lost.
But I didn’t drink a beer as many Kavanaugh supporters did. Nor did I cry in my wine as the anti-Kavanaugh did. I just enjoyed college football and relaxed knowing I’d destroyed the fire ant colony.
Of course, now that fire ants have reached as far North as our part of Arkansas, i know another mound will appear in the future and I hope I’m here to destroy it. I just wish the attitudes and animosities which are destroying our country were as easy to identify and control.
We do know the source of our country’s destruction. Some say it’s in the same colleges which let over-muscled thugs escape any hard learning so they can have winning football teams. The Know Nothing liberal arts authoritarians dominating nearly every university limit discussion and try to limit thought to one topic: how to rid the country of what they see as the problem–the racist, misogynist conservatives.
Both sides think they have identified the fire ant mounds. And both sides are doing their best to destroy those mounds at any cost.
I hope you are among those who know both sides are partly right and partly wrong. Neither is the fire ant mound which threatens our country and needs to be destroyed. Our common enemy is the belief that we are right and they are wrong and we must do anything we can to destroy them. As long as both sides have this belief, the descent into unbridled tribalism will continue. Sadly, the leaders on both sides are stoking the fires.
Each side sees the other as evil fire ants which must be destroyed. And that attitude can only lead to destruction of the nation. Even if one side does win, it will identify an Other within its ranks. Then the tribalism and destruction will begin anew,
“We are totally right and they are totally wrong” is the attitude of tribalism and mutual assured destruction. The American Indians were divided into thousands of tribes which nearly all fought with each other even as the advancing Europeans took over their lands. Something similar is happening in the US today. Because we are so busy fighting with each other instead of working together to conquer our many challenges, other tribes are invading and taking over more and more of our country as we fight with each other.
So enjoy your college football, your Kavanaugh victory and your beer while the other side plots your demise. One thing our universities can still do well is create enjoyable spectacles for the masses. And they also produce graduates who are making more and more good beers