We all know what happened in Washington DC yesterday. I don’t intend to comment on it, to state the obvious and rehash what’s already been rehashed. What I will talk about is our reactions to it.

Yesterday was unusual, shocking even. But it wasn’t unprecedented. Recency Bias, a tendency of people to place greater weight on current events than history, is a hell of a drug and can make you forget the great events of the distant past.

Like yesterday afternoon, I noticed Civil War trending on Twitter, but let’s be objective about what happened: for a few hours, a handful of people occupied the Senate chamber. Shocking and unusual, yes. But not a Civil War.

Remember that we actually did fight a Civil War not too long ago. The election of 1860 was so hotly contested that half the country seceded and our nation’s bloodiest war commenced.

Bringing that into our perspective kinda makes yesterday look like small potatoes, doesn’t it? Hell, adding a little perspective would go a long way to solving most problems.

That’s all I really wanted to say today. We are in the midst of shocking times, but we as a nation have survived far worse. Keep that in mind.

And as always: Memento Mori.

Published by Peter Martuneac

Marine, Boilermaker, husband and father. I'm here to share my thoughts on all things political or philosophical.

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3 Comments

  1. The trouble is that it’s hard to tell how bad things truly are. The internet and the media are both distorting things and making it look like the end of the world. There was alot of drama similar to this in the decade or so leading up to the civil war at the very least. So few people seem willing to listen to each other also.

    As for history… I bring up things from last year and nobody remembers it. People have been trained to have zero attention span anymore.

    Like

  2. I’m Southern to the core, and my “specialty,” shall we say, is antebellum American history. When I saw that Confederate flag in the Capitol, I thought of the hundreds of thousands of people who died trying to either get that flag in the building or preventing it. The weight of that one image’s importance got me; even though the Civil War is long over, its effects reverberate strongly through every aspect of our lives. The same tensions, fears, and heartache exist now as then, in some form or another. It’s always been important to understand our history, as you’ve pointed out. There’s no other way to move on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I felt much the same when I saw that. There’s a historical reality check in that image, for sure. I’m just glad that for now at least the controversies of today aren’t spilling into open warfare like they did in 1860. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

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