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Maybe Hawaii...
"BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL."

Or maybe just everywhere...
"RUSSIAN MILITARY CONDUCTS MASSIVE MISSILE DRILLS."

The bombs of fire and brimstone burn all souls

    Saturday, January 6, 2018 -- (Long Beach, CA) -- Roy Acuff may have been the first to sing the song, but his words of deep faith continue ringing long after his death.

    We are not the only ones who know that hatred is ripping America apart. Leaders of other countries that hold nuclear weapons can also tell.

    Unfortunately, since we don’t work together anymore, the chaos of war’s fog is masking the doom of fire and brimstone. Just ask the CIA, which has known since 2003 that North Korea has The Bomb, and can likely hit the US west coast.

    Hate is not logic. It is terror.

    The body of America is being slashed and hammered by fists on the left and right. It is not the brain that commands us. It is poison within the heart that is killing our own greatness.

    We used to work together. It’s a free country and everyone has their views. But for centuries, division over political agendas did not stop everyone from shaking hands on how to truly make this country great.

    We are not creating steam ships or trains or national roadways. We aren’t talking about landing humans on the moon or winning global wars.

    Instead, hatred drip like spit from virtually everyone’s lips. The President spits hate through tweets and slurred speeches. Those who hate him are unable to reply clearly.

    The Body of America found greatness by hearing the logic of our brain. Limbs on left and right still came together, to swing hammers so as to erect barns. When working together, you can’t build a barn unless we show enough heart so as to feed the hungry soul while eating together. Only then can we put aside differences to make greatness our shared path.

    But like Roy Acuff sang, this world can’t stand long, because it is too full of hate.

    If a President believes that his own weapon of hatred can be freely swung onto the Body of America, then he himself is crushing the soul of our people. Think what one will of ANY prior president, but each LOVED the people, and devoted their service to the betterment of the entire nation.

    Elected Republicans are themselves being dragged into the mud.

    Think what we will of Speaker Paul Ryan, but his suggestion that we tweak Social Security is a debate over policy. Do humans live longer than when Mr. Roosevelt won overwhelmingly in 1936, promising Social Security? Well, yes, the average age has grown. The age of 65 is very different today than half a century ago, so tweaking the age of when someone gets Social Security is a fair debate, no matter which side one supports.

    Likewise, the passage of the ACA health insurance law is both loved and hated. But just as Mr. Ryan cannot get a vigorous debate on Social Security without hatred taking over, there is no possibly middle path for Obama Care.

    When any big law passes, it is like a monster. When Social Security passed, lawmakers had to correct errors, with “fix-it” legislation. The Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act passed Congress only because the Republican minority gave wide enough support that Mr. Johnson was able to get needed “fix-it” legislation for what history would carve into stone. In 1991, the Americans with Disability Act liberated millions who suffered invisible lives, but fixing the law happened only because both sides worked together.

    There is no “fix-it” that can happen on the ACA, just as the “No Fat Cat Left Behind” tax law just adopted will drive hatred between the super rich and ordinary Americans.

    Who falls when hatred wins? Everyone, except hate-spitting lackeys. They rise as rarely they never do. Their devotion to tweets and slurs are absolute. The “my way or the highway” posture will quickly galvanize fringes on both sides. And the President can cynically make use of hatred to divide and conquer.

    Roy Acuff is but a long-dead singer. But as once said of novel writing, “Words are more powerful then dynamite. Dynamite explosed once. Words explode a thousand times.”

    If we do not directly confront the hatred that is ripping this nation apart, then the thoughtful debate of people like Paul Ryan will erode, like a crumbling mountain. The hate vote against the President will then swell like a universal solvent, weakening Mr. Lincoln’s Grand Old Party, before finally the 2018 Off-Year election collapses in a massive defeat of the GOP.

    Hatred is nothing new, nor shall it disappear. President Eisenhower was correct that, “We cannot legislate the human heart.” But if the poison kills the brain of logic, and swinging fists smash left and right, then the heart itself will be crushed, and the Body of America will fall from a mountain of greatness.

    Let us only pray that the chaos of a Second Korean War does not hurl fire and brimstone upon us.

-- Billy Orton.


LINKS
LYRICS

“This World Can't Stand Long”
By Roy Acuff
    A long time this world has stood
    It gets more wicked every day
    The Maker who created it
    Will never let it stand this way

    This world can't stand long
    Be ready and don't be late
    We should know this world can't stand
    For it's too full of hate

    This world was destroyed before
    Because it was so full of sin
    And for that very reason now
    It's gotta be destroyed again

    This world can't stand long
    Be ready and don't be late
    We should know this world can't stand
    For it's too full of hate

    Everyone knows this world can't stand
    For in the Bible it's plain to see
    Fire and brimstone shall rain down
    And carry us to Eternity

    This world can't stand long
    Be ready and don't be late
    We should know this world can't stand
    For it's too full of hate

    Let's all give our hearts to God
    And let Him lead us by the hand
    If we will only trust in Him
    He'll lead us beyond the burning sand

    This world can't stand long
    Be ready and don't be late
    We should know this world can't stand
    For it's too full of hate


CAPTION

Only the second monument depicting America's 16th president, the Long Beach CA statue dedicated in 1914 does not show the actual name of Abraham Lincoln. It was not for more than a decade later that the Memorial rose in Washington, D.C. But 12,000 people showed up for the ceremony, in a town that had 10,000. Now, the President brushes aside true greatness, so as to where a hat.

   






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Billy Orton is a novelist and historian living in Long Beach, California.