For the first time in my life today, I was nervous taking a morning stroll down the streets of New York—well, if not completely scared, at least seriously tense. And this was 8 a.m. or so in a decent neighborhood, Amsterdam in the eighties to be exact. Admittedly, I was feeling a little jet lagged and not quite myself, just having returned from Europe last night. But the news on arrival that five cops had been slaughtered in Dallas (my plane didn’t have Wi-Fi) was almost unbearable after having endured the “exoneration” of Hillary Clinton while I was away.
What country is this? What world?
While taking that walk, looking at people on the sidewalks wondering what they were thinking and/or about to do—everyone appeared to be on edge, even babies in prams—the connection between the Dallas attacks and the terrorism we have been experiencing from Orlando to San Bernardino was palpable, motivated by similar irrational hatreds, religious and racial. It was part of the zeitgeist.
The truth was clear and it was truly ugly and depressing: the raging Dallas cop killers suffered from ISIS Envy. Whether consciously or not, they wanted to be like ISIS. It was almost clinical, not far from all those other Freudian envies.
Specifically, they wanted to have that shining hour in the sun—to have their evil psychotic rage trumpeted out loud and justified (at least to themselves). Baghdadi was cool, but they could be cooler. ISIS and al Qaeda one-upping each other was being recapitulated on our own soil. Will some new group emerge to top them all? (As I type this, as if to prove my point, a “Black Power” group has claimed responsibility for Dallas, threatening more.)
Yes, there are differences, but they are superficial. At heart it is all the same and best expressed by the famous catch phrase of Franco’s Falange: “Viva la muerte!” “Long live death!” Or, to put it in the terms of the Dallas monsters, “the end is coming.”
So what are those of us who treasure life supposed to do for ourselves, our families and friends?
The current administration is obviously not to be trusted. To an extraordinary degree, they (and their leader of course) got us where we are today. The excrescences of Barack Obama’s Reverend Wright are the direct predecessor of the vicious racist rhetoric of the Dallas monsters and that’s only one example of a long list of racial exploitation and incitement by our president, almost always masked as the reverse. The parallel to his inverted treatment of radical Islam is also obvious and intimately related to this, the same thing actually.
We also can give no trust to Hillary Clinton and her ilk or even to Donald Trump, although Trump, at least, does not mince words (unfortunately, too often to the extent of not choosing them precisely).
This is not a problem for our politicians. They are, to put it bluntly, our twisted spawn. We have created them. Most of us have sat by like Edmund Burke’s “good men” allowing this to happen.
But that’s yesterday and we are where we are. If the hortatory NY Post is right and “CIVIL WAR” is upon us, it will be a nihilistic war fought for absolutely no reason with no good end and must be avoided at all costs. We have to solve this ourselves, change our friends and neighbors. That means talking to people we don’t always talk to. If politicians help us, that’s great. But don’t count on it. To do so would be foolhardy.
Roger L. Simon is a prize-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His book—I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already—is just published by Encounter Books June 14, 2016. You can read an excerpt here. You can see a brief interview about the book with the Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal here. You can hear an interview about the book with Mark Levin here. You can order the book here.