My questioning of basic values as manifested in politics took a jarring turn to the left during the 2000 presidential election. That George W. Bush could even be considered alongside a smart, experienced candidate like Al Gore made me question the sanity of my fellow Republicans. The appointment of Bush to the White House brought into power a group of people whose goal is to dominate the world due to an unfounded belief in their own superiority, and who are relentless about who and what they must destroy to reach their goal.
I registered as an Independent and voted Democratic for the first time in my life, and then got very active in the Democratic Party trying to keep a similar mistake from happening again. We were unsuccessful in 2004, as people voted more from fear than reason. In 2006, the tide seemed to be turning as Republican greed, corruption, and incompetence convinced people that they had more to fear from their elected protectors than any external threats.
The evil acts on 9/11/2001 have been compounded by my beloved country’s paranoid aggression against anyone its leaders fear, regardless of provocation. To my shock, friends and family have advocated mass murder and cultural annihilation as horrendous as that threatened by the terrorists. My world was turned upside-down as I found evil and the seeds of evil in my own back yard.
In an effort to understand aggression and the pursuit of security against it, I discovered (through the development of a mathematical “security model”) that the amount of power and knowledge available to individuals in a population is directly related to how violent they are, how many resources they use, how long they live, and how happy they are with their lives.
Meanwhile, Nature dealt out its own share of disaster, spurred on by human activity, and responded to by cruel indolence and incompetence.