In our lifetimes we the people of the United States of America have not lived through a more critical decade than the one now unfolding, 2020-2029. Democracy is endangered—not whether to empower either the Republicans or the Democrats, not Trump nor his enemies—Democracy itself.
It’s about us. OUR country. Our FUTURE. OUR LIFE TOGETHER
Please understand: The crisis is non-partisan. Pogo was wrong. We have yet to meet “the enemy.” It’s still “them”—the deplorables, the snowflakes, the Browns, the Blacks, the hijab-hooded, the five-a-day knee-prayers and all those strange people who abuse God’s chosen language, which we know to be English.
Why? Or how did we get ourselves into this awful mess? Three inter-related developments stand out:
First, weakening us step by step since WWII has been the waning influence of our basic values. “Justice and equality for all” has been grievously undermined, with the “all” being replaced by “the rich and powerful.” For too many, the pursuit of “happiness” has given way to an “obsession with wealth and prosperity.”
Nowhere is this waning more tragically evident than in the decline of value- direction on the part of our best religious and educational leaders. Christian priests and preachers are more ridiculed today than appreciated. The best products of our once world-envied universities have been snow-flaked, their brilliance silenced for the masses.
It is not as though we’ve been ignorant of how morally and intellectually we’ve declined. No. We have known, surely since the first ugly revelations of the 1960’s counter-culture and the sad, sad manner in which we responded to the Vietnam war. In place of using our common sense, we have wanted and sought what modernity had to offer: fast cars, digital wonders, comfortable clothing, free speech and free sex. So, nation-wide, we chose to put on ethical blinders, leave our churches, indulge our children, and to resent and ignore any and every intrusion into our self-indulgences.
And so it is that the Wall has replaced the Statue of Liberty as our nation’s spiritual symbol.
Secondly, and to be noted separately on its own: today, Big Money governs our country, a direct result of our declining values.
Then thirdly, there is our present alarming predicament, near, hopefully, the rock-bottom of a divisive spiral we’ve been sliding down for over half-a-century: thus, we are a sharply divided people, more so than at any time since 1865; and the truly sad part is, the opposites seem to be enjoying their separateness, convinced that their side alone is the true Americans position. Oh, how we delude ourselves!
Consequently, unity is a myth. And unless the underlying problems are addressed in all seriousness, we will surely destroy ourselves.
But here’s the good news: We can, if we choose, rediscover our true greatness.
Our values are not dead. They live within us, as evidenced by the fact that every once in a while, they surface. We make sure sick people are provided with medical care. We find a way to welcome strangers. We sing joyful songs. Our language becomes uplifting. We listen to our better angels. And we reach out to. . . .to . . .
To embrace one another.
God helps us.