“Light up the darkness.
— Bob Marley
Two days before his scheduled appearance at Smile Jamaica — a peace rally-concert sponsored by Jamaica Prime Minister Michael Manley — Bob Marley, his wife Rita, manager Don Taylor and a Marley family friend were shot by unknown gunmen in Marley’s home. Marley, despite the assassination attempt, still performed at the concert two days later. When asked by a reporter why he still played, Marley replied: “The people who were trying to make this world worse off are not taking a day off … Why should I? Light up the darkness.”
This country needs more Bob Marley.
I’m worried for my nation right now. And no, it’s not because Donald Trump is at the reigns. I have been around the block enough times to know one man or woman cannot tear down this great thing we have built. This country has survived Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush, and it will survive the Trump Administration.
The real reason I am scared is because what we, the American people, have become. A bunch of vicious caged monkey throwing our feces and hurling unoriginal insults like fairy or snowflake or calling people racist for holding different political beliefs than our own.
It’s the Tomi Lahren’s, Don Lemon’s and Rush Limbaugh’s who are responsible for the madness. So-called journalists who know as much about fairness and accuracy as I know about quantum physics or performing in a Disney on Ice Show dressed in a seven-foot Goofy suit. TV and radio journalists — if you can call them that — need to remember their original roles: To serve as a watchdog for the American people. To provide a system of checks and balances that keep the Establishments running on the straight and narrow instead of whipping their audiences into frenzies faster than an IHOP chef has to make pancakes at 2 a.m. on Saturday after last call at the bar.
We all know politics is the most vicious game of them all. A thousand linebackers hopped up on cocaine, crystal meth and Dexamyl wouldn’t last one second in a political office. Dick Butkus and Lawrence Taylor are known for their tenacity and bone-crushing hits, but even they would get chewed up and spit out by the Political Machine.
Political campaigns are no longer won and lost on the backs of ideas, ideals and facts. Instead, they are won by those who can wrestle in the mud with pigs and enjoy it more than the bovine. Kidnap your opponent’s kids. Come up with unoriginal nicknames for them. Hell, even suggest he or she might not only wrestle with pigs, but also fornicate with them.
Lyndon B. Johnson is said to have used this trick in one of his earliest campaigns in Texas. The race was close and Johnson was getting scared. He told his manager to create a massive rumor concerning his opponent’s life-long habit of enjoying carnal knowledge with barnyard animals.
“You can’t get away with calling him a pig-fucker,” the campaign manager argued. “Nobody’s going to believe a thing like that.”
“I know,” Johnson replied, “but let’s make the sonofabitch deny it.”
Therein lies the point. The truth doesn’t matter. The real point of accusing your enemy of having sex with pigs is to force him or her to deny it. True or not, the image is so vivid it sticks in the voters’ minds, permanently damaging your enemy’s reputation. And Johnson was operating in the pre-Internet age. Today’s online political debates are emotions first, facts a distant second.
Nobody wins like this. It’s like an eight-hour soccer game that ends in a draw. Nobody benefits, except for the teams’ managements and TV networks who rake in the dough off merchandise, ticket and advertising sales.
And that’s exactly what American politics have become. Eight-hour soccer games where nobody, but the political elites and Murdoch and Turner empires win.
But whoa. Take it easy on the bombast, Davin. Nobody likes a cynical, know-it-all. Especially one who is 34-years-old and still lives with his parents. Let’s refocus and get back to the point at hand: Marley’s quote.
John Adams once said: “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our constitution.”
We have failed to listen to Adams’ words. We have become a nation obsessed with a two-party political system.
Nobody wins when we are split down party lines. It’s like a football game that goes into a hundred overtimes and ends in a tie. When we are divided, we become easier to rule. Like the old adage goes: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
Rather than constructing divides, we need to unite and fight against the games being played by those who rule over and control us. There are 324,118,787 people in this country. This is pale in comparison to the 519,682 elected officials currently serving in various roles. If all of us came together, put aside our differences and worked towards the common good of this country, we would be a dangerous force. If we united and starting demanding accountability from our elected officials — no matter the party — then they would straighten up faster than juvenile delinquents at a Scared Straight initiative.
Let’s stop the bickering and realize we all want the same things in life. Find love. Have a career. Be successful. Find love. Wanting our kids to be happy and safe and surpass us in our success. We want to be safe from tyranny, protected from violence and live our lives anyway we sit fit without interference from Big Brother.
We need to be the change we want to see. Open the door for a complete stranger. Help a struggling old lady get her groceries into the car. Smile and have a few nice words for a stranger. It’s time to start sharing love, peace, compassion and tolerance with others.
After all, the people who are trying to make this world a worse place are not taking a day off … Why should we? Light up the darkness.