Escapism isn’t the most debilitating thing. Far more dangerous are nihilism and what comes with it, which is a learned helplessness, resignation, and apathy.

It’s not easy to juggle some seemingly incompatible things, like the idea that we can’t change the right unless they want to change themselves, but that we’re also not without agency. Yet, if you’ve ever found yourself battling the addiction of a loved one, you know that these things can be reconciled. You can demand that the right gets the help they need rather than resigning yourself to go off the cliff with them. You can create all the conditions and incentives for them to get help. You can learn not to give up even though hard experience has taught you not to expect a better outcome the next time or the time after that. You’ll need to stand up for yourself and protect yourself against outrages, but you can also find times to turn the other cheek and look the other way, knowing that at root you are dealing with a diseased mind that can heal with time.

I’ve learned all these things and had both stunning successes and heartbreaking and cruel failures, and so I know that we might try everything we can think of and still wind up together as a nation at the bottom of the lake.

But giving up is the only sure way to wind up there.

I’d never leave this country while it still has a beating heart. I’ll fight to the bitter end.

0 0 votes
Article Rating