Defined and Negotiated Terms

Published November 3, 2018

There’s really no such thing as freedom. There are terms of existence.

Some of the terms are natural and organic, like gravity. One term of existence is, don’t jump off a tall cliff. Violate this term, go splat — no more existence.

Some terms of existence are defined by other people. Collectively we frown on random premeditated murder. Terms of existence for the guilty, depending where they happen to be, range from confinement to assisted exit from existence.

Which is to say our terms of existence are either a negotiation between our biosphere, our physiology and each other, or dictated by force.

When negotiations work out to the satisfaction of all parties, we have peace and harmony. When we don’t, matters become restless. The intensity of our agitation tends to match changes in balance. Our economic, environmental and tribal imbalances are growing; so is our polarization. We did not come to this juncture in the USA unassisted. There has been foreign meddling, stirring the pot at the very least, leading to a profoundly epic time.

We are trying to negotiate terms via democracy with people who no longer respect democracy. The opposition wants to define terms of existence. All of them. For everyone. Backed by weapons.

This business with the Mexican border is a demonstration of will. It’s a statement that says, yes, we will separate families, we will shoot children with rocks, we will house them in barracks and define their terms of existence.

These behaviors indicate they won’t stop with demonstrations. There’s no longer reason to extend a benefit of doubt. The scope of targets will expand unless they are restrained.

That’s what this election is about. That’s how much is at stake. This may well be your last opportunity to define YOUR terms of existence in the USA.

As many others have already said, vote as if your life is at stake. Maybe you need medical care that is no longer affordable or available. Maybe your area is hit with a natural disaster and an indifferent federal response. Maybe local militias decide it’s fun night to go out and hunt down people wearing yellow hats.

Some terms of existence are defined for you. Some terms you get to define yourself. That’s what voting is about. Do it.