By Howard W. Karsh
We live in a chaotic world. We are often at the edge of our seats because all of the media by which we are surrounded seems to all be “Breaking News” and everything that follows is tragic and nerve racking. In addition, we are in the final weeks of an Election like none that I can remember. All of the commentators have somehow become unhinged, and the venom is tactile.
This latest incident in New York City adds to the dismay because the terrorist use of “pressure-cookers” loaded with combustible materials and nails, and worse, means that there are no safe places. The recipes are on the internet. Nails and the chemicals for combustion are available at hardware stores and landscaping supply companies. For those of us who have visited Israel regularly, or who have children or family there, we have come to know that Israel was where modern terrorism first presented its ugly face, and although we did not believe those who cautioned us that we should look and learn, they were correct.
You must really be on “full alert” at every moment. In Israel everyone knows when there is a package left anywhere that it does not belong. They have not been able to stop every incident, but they are not battlegrounds like Syria, Iraq, Libya and the world at large. We heard politicians warn that we would fight the battle overseas or here in America, and now it is here.
There are hundreds of polls going on every day, and I would like to humbly suggest to you, that they are not believable, because we are now living in an age of “unpredictability,” and there is no longer anything that is certain, perhaps with the exception of death and taxes.
I’d like of offer you a list of synonyms I have put together. I was an English teacher who loved teaching language, and wanted my students to understand the nuance of words. None of the words in this list are the same, and yet they speak to the same issue.
Ready? instability, alternation, anxiety, capriciousness, changeability, disequilibrium, disquiet, fickleness, fitfulness, flightiness, fluctuation, fluidity, frailty, hesitation, immaturity, impermanence, inconsistency, inquietude, insecurity, irregularity, irresolution, immutability, oscillation, pliancy, precariousness, restlessness, shakiness, transience, uncertainty, unfixedness, unreliability, unsteadiness, vacillation, variability, volatility, vulnerability, wavering and weakness.
In this moment, anyone would be foolish to predict a victory for either Clinton or Trump, because there are simply too many days and hours before the election, and this one will go down to the wire, because of all the things that would immediately effect those millions of people who are still subject to changing their mind, and they can swing the vote.
Nothing will change the minds of the greatest part of the electorate, but we have seen what has happened lately in the decision of England to leave the European Common Market. Post election interviewers found that people were not voting on the issue, but on their anger with government. Many said that if they thought the proposition to leave would win, they would not have voted for it.
We are in the midst of the greatest surge of anger in recent history. It is simply like nothing many of us have ever seen. What we can count on is some level of understanding on November 9th, and perhaps not even then. It is important that we vote, but, wow!
P.S. About The Presto Company whose pressure cookers have risen to national news: The founders were a Jewish family in Northern Wisconsin, last name, Cohen, other products pizza cookers, diapers and a large producer of ammunition.
Karsh lives and writes in Milwaukee, Wisc., and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Submitted Sept. 20, 2016.