Two Different Worlds

I keep thinking about that old song that began “Two different worlds, we live in two different worlds….” I don’t remember most of the lyrics, but it ended with something to the effect that the singer was longing for the day when “our two different worlds are one.”

Yeah–me too.

In the wake of the election, in addition to the usual recriminations and finger pointing, there has been a wave of “petitions” to the White House, demanding the right of states to secede.  The conspiracy nuts have been working overtime, generating dark, brooding theories about Obama’s plans to destroy America. Evidently, his incomprehensible victory at the polls is the sign of the apocalypse. Or something.

Meanwhile, in that other world–the one I thankfully inhabit–there are signs that the fever has broken. Congressional Republicans are sending grudging signals that they may consider cooperating to do the public’s business. Rightwing pundits are sounding a bit less intransigent–Hannity is “evolving” on immigration, and Bill Kristol concedes that a small increase in millionaires’ tax rate probably won’t kill the economy. Janesville, Wisconsin–home of Ryan the Rigid–just passed a ordinance extending domestic partner benefits to city and library employees. (It passed 6-1.) Little by little, inhabitants of the real world are going about the business of reconciliation.

What does that say about the “other” world? The one where the Kenyan Socialist Muslim is plotting to confiscate all the guns and destroy liberty as we know it?

There’s a theory that during periods of rapid social change, when societies are experiencing “paradigm shifts” to accommodate those changes, significant numbers of people are unable to make the conceptual change. As their existing worldviews get more and more “out of sync” with the world around them, their behaviors become more and more “maladaptive.” They are less and less able to cope with the world as it is, and their response to that cognitive dissonance gets more bizarre.

Eventually, of course, those who cannot adapt–disproportionately folks in my own advancing age bracket–will die off.  And for a while–at least until the next paradigm shift–those two different worlds will be one.


  1. I was deeply saddened but not surprised to read the article about states wanting to secede due to the reelection of President Obama. They didn’t stop to think about the results were they allowed to do this; look who would be running their “country”. And by the time the thinking 99% of us plus the minorities, women, gays, Jews, Muslims, and all others they wish to suppress are gone – they will be left with a group of wealthy people with no one to act as their servants or to tax beyond their ability to pay. Lowering their own taxes would provide less education, fewer public safety workers, those who rebuild crumbling infrastructure would be residents of “our country”. We would be struggling financially but getting a hell of a lot more accomplished than those owning casinos and dancing horses. Who would shovel up that horse manure? They would have all their money and would live in fear of losing it to one another. Yes; this is a fantasy version of results of secession but, as an American citizen I have every right to my fantasies. Poor as I am…they cost me nothing but I have little to lose other than the freedom these fools seek to remove from people like myself who make up the majority of their state residents. The only surprise to me is that Indiana is not on that list.

  2. This secession thing is interesting because–if these states seceded–their financial burden would be MANY times what it is now. If they think they pay taxes NOW–they have no idea what would be ahead. When we visited Canada last year–touring Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec (great trip, by the way)–I was interested to hear the pros and cons of the Province of Quebec seceding from Canada. There are many more cons than pros–most of them financial.
    It’s time for the United States to get back to having a life.

  3. Before you attempt to withdraw from the US, first please turn in your Medicare and Social Security Card and send us a Release for future storm, earthquake or other disaster so we can exclude you and your subdivison from federal aid .thanks so much.

  4. Guess I spoke too soon; please read the article on the front page of the Star today, Wednesday, November 14th. “Hoosiers join Net campaign to secede” Sheila; I’m sure you are busy writing today’s article to cover this situation – I can’t wait to read it!

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