Don’t Fret About Western Civilization

We live in a big city. So every time we go out onto the street, there’s a chance we will be mugged or even shot. Perhaps by an immigrant or someone of a different race. So we could say our daily interactions with humans we don’t know is a threat to civil society and more fundamentally, our existence. We wouldn’t technically be wrong. We would be delusional.

And I guess we could say, inviting contact with strangers who could possibly do us bodily harm questions our will to survive. And again, we wouldn’t be technically wrong. We’d just be lunatics.

Just like if we really thought Obama’s America was a scene of wild “carnage.”

So when the President indelibly asks: “The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive?” We can answer that with no hesitation. Yes. Without a doubt. We do.

But to us, that involves going out into the street more, not less. And engaging with people of different races and religions more, not less. That way we start becoming friends, or if not, gain some level of understanding about why we can’t.

Shutting ourselves off to entire groups of people (many of them in dire need of help) ends up being a much bigger threat. Viewing entire groups of people as enemies (including everybody that didn’t vote for us), is a much bigger threat. Because those are threats to Democracy.

For that reason we should not take Trump’s most radical speech to date lightly, nor dismiss it as “just something else Trump shot his mouth off about.” Trump followed up the speech with this Tweet:

We believe Western civilization is doing just fine, unless you fear change. Because it is changing, and it is full of opportunity. For instance, we just had our first black President in the U.S.; the U.K. and Germany have female leaders. And that’s just for starters. Western civilization is doing better than ever, maybe. Unless you see opportunities as perils. Trump’s Poland speech proves there are people of positions of power in the White House who view the world through an extreme xenophobic and agoraphobic lens.

What can we do?

• Push back. Show through our actions that “Western civilization” is, in fact, made stronger by forging new ties and putting down new roots. Democracy must be at the center of this (something Trump hasn’t addressed directly, but seems to care less and less about.)

• Expose the White House’s distortion of reality as having little to do with “Western civilization” really, and more to do with an unchangeable and therefore fading bunch of privileged people just trying to cling to power for as long as they possibly can, by shutting out people who are not like them for as long as they possibly can.

How do we accomplish this?

• Love Thy Neighbor. That’s it.

(This story originally appeared in “The Chaos Report” newsletter

Peabody award winning journalist. Streaming media pioneer. Played @ CBGB back in the day. Editor-In-Chief "The Chaos Report"

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