Observations

The Sound of Breaking Glass


I haven’t written for almost a year and I’ve been thinking that my contributions to this blog were at an end. I’ve progressed significantly in the last year. My voice is usually not understandable, and I am using a wheelchair most of the time to manage my risk of falling. The disease remains variable, so things are not always bad, but I have a view now of what the end looks like, and it’s not pretty. I knew this was coming, but I honestly wasn’t ready for it. I’m not there yet, but it’s more real to me now than ever before.

I didn’t decide to break the silence to whine about my degeneration, though. I’ve been isolated for almost a year now because of COVID-19, and so my world has shrunk even more than before. I couldn’t stay silent about what I see happening in the world and in our country any longer, though. Although I no longer have much of a voice, I can still communicate, and I must while I can.

The events of this last week are unprecedented in modern American history. That word, “unprecedented,” has been getting quite a workout in the last four years, but an armed attack on the citadel of democracy, the US Capitol, incited and encouraged by a sitting President, is almost unimaginable to most thinking people. In my view, there is no way to justify the actions of the domestic terrorists that organized and executed this seditious act, and I believe that the people who encouraged it and failed to respond when it was clear what the mob intended are just as culpable as the people who savagely beat and killed a Capitol policeman during the attack. They include the President and members of the US Congress, but it’s not limited to that. We’ve been able to see this coming literally for years, and anyone who tacitly encouraged or enabled the sociopath that sits in the Oval Office should be held to account.

Most of the people who took part in this terrible episode in American history believe they were justified. They believe that their rights were being trampled, that corruption was rampant in the election process, and that they had no choice but armed rebellion. They believed this not on the strength of evidence and rational thought, but because they had been told it was true by people they trusted. Those people included friends, family members, clergy, and government officials up to and including the president of the United States, each of whom was either just as deluded or who had a dog in the fight that they weren’t being honest about. They compounded their ignorance, talking amongst themselves in the echo chamber of like minds, convincing themselves that untrue claims with zero evidence were true. Perhaps they had a predisposition to believe the lie; perhaps it was just a failure in critical thinking. For whatever the reason, they took on a mindset that was nearly impossible to sway with objective information. They had preferred sources of information, sources that they trusted, and dismissed dissenting or contradictory facts out of hand.

Comparisons are being made to the social and political situation at the beginning of World War II, and I don’t think they are inappropriate. A population filled with national pride and a feeling they had been cheated somehow, a feeling of superiority to other ethnic and social groups among many of the society’s elite, and a political structure hungry for power, led by a charismatic despot willing to tell “their people” what they wanted and needed to hear. It didn’t matter that this leader was a megalomanic who cared nothing about them; they only cared that the message scratched an itch they weren’t even consciously aware of – the need to feel a part of something, perhaps, or a desire to have simple answers to complex questions.

Our Kristallnacht happened on Wednesday – it’s up to us to decide what we do about it. The solution is complex, just like the problem. It has many moving parts, but it starts with a commitment to an ideal. This is not who we aspire to be. We’re better than this, and we’ve forgotten our core commitment to the principles that formed our country, and to each other. We’re not lost, but we can see one possible end, and it’s not pretty.

I know what my future looks like. Even with the greatest of optimism and positive thinking, Parkinson’s will win. It saddens me, but it’s now inevitable. However, I gave my health and ultimately my life to protect this experiment in American self-government, and I’ll try to protect it until my dying day.

Unlike my current experience with Parkinson’s, our future as a country is not determined. We have the freedom to change our prognosis. If we don’t undo it, when we fade from history we’ll only have ourselves to blame. A good first step is to renew our commitment to the rule of law, and ensure that President Trump is held accountable for his abject failure to have the slightest interest in the greater good of the American people or our institutions. He has failed as chief executive, and he needs to go now.

11 thoughts on “The Sound of Breaking Glass

  1. Ali Yantes

    Corey, what an impressive writing. I am always impressed with your observations and the magnificent way you put it on paper. I have no words to express my sorrow about your physical situation, and I know you have many prayer warriors on your team. Please know of all the love everyone has for you including our God. I am not a big Arnold S fan, but check out his video I put on Facebook. It echoes some of your observations about the hatred before WW2.

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  2. Corey, You are a beacon of light in this dark time. Beautifully written and articulated. Thank you so much for everything you do and have done and will continue to do. We are with you in spirit. You’re calling out the sycophants and enablers and followers who have led us down this path. We must rally. I feel comforted by your words because I think they represent most Americans. I’m sorry you’re being challenged by Mr. PD.You’ve been very helpful to me periodically when I needed to consult on this complex disease. I wish you some comfort in the midst of the challenge.

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  3. Elena

    Thank you, Corey. Your voice is strong and clear in your written word. And we’re graced by them. Thank you for gathering all our disparate thoughts and transforming them into your words of insight, truth and wisdom. I’m with you. We must stay the course of truth, justice and the rule of law. We must each stay in our truth until our light becomes brighter than the lies that have divided us so that we can speak of a new unprecedented moment-a moment in which we not only overcome this atrocity, but a moment in which we become a better nation than we’ve ever been before. In the meantime, I pray your inner strength and courage carry you through each day in miraculous ways.

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  4. Kevin Davey

    Hit it on the head again old friend. Sadly, almost half of the US voters don’t subscribe to our collective view, but I guess that’s democracy. I truly hope that these lemmings realise the looming clifftop before it’s too late. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Amy and family, Corey.

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  5. Lyn

    Corey, thank you for your sacrifice for our country. I am sorry to hear your health is progressing downhill. I pray for you and Amy and the rest of the family.
    Your thoughts are always so well expressed. I am with you in your commitment to the rule of law, and I share your thoughts on Trump. I pray the Lord’s wisdom for our leaders and their advisors.

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  6. Tommy Dubuque

    As usual you are spot on. Your vocal voice may not be as easily understood as it once was. But your written words speak very loudly and clearly.

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  7. Susan Crumrine

    Well said, Corey. I’m sorry to hear that your Parkinson’s had progressed so much during the past year. I pray for you, your family and our country!

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  8. Sparky Parker

    Our prayers are with you mi hermano!
    It makes me very sad to see colleagues, friends, family having their minds poisoned by this hate rhetoric that is thinly disguised as conservative ideals. It’s very cult-like. You are so right. It seems they can’t be swayed by logic or fact. Dangerous path ahead, but I have faith that “we the people” will come through these trying times as a stronger country.

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