How Fragile and Precious, Our Democracy

History and Justice

We Americans are in a world of hurt. The moral life of the country is teetering in the wake of a leader without a moral compass. The morality I write out is not related to personal morals but to civic morals–the shared values, ways of being and acting, that have given rise to a great country that once inspired other nations to follow our example. Well, that was true after WWII but has gradually diminished over the last 70 years. Robert Reich has eloquently outlined “How It Happened” — how the likes of Donald Trump came to occupy the White House.  Its worth, shutting your office door and having lunch at your desk, to listen to this presentation. It most clearly outlines the answer to that question. Its not about one party being better than another; no, its about how both parties are stunned, and have come to realize that Donald Trump as President is a “clear and present danger” to our democracy.

As I write and think about the country I have loved deeply all my life, and whose principles have been the standard by which I’ve tried to lead my civic life, my daughter, after a long 60-70 hour work week, finds the time to still get out on a Saturday to canvass for a candidate she believes in and spends more time signing people up to vote. Her husband was the chair of their voting precinct in the last election and is a leader in his union. These young Americans are making the system work. I admire and love them for it.

We have all got to get out of our normal routines, to stop and consider our situation for what it truly is: we are on the cusp of losing our democracy. At its basis, as Reich points out, is the assault on TRUTH. We have a leader and his cohorts who divert attention from the truth, and tell lies until the public in its confusion begins to question the very foundations of our shared republican life. We must act together–together–to step back from the brink.

For us: 1963 Bob Dylan’s “The Times They are a Changin





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