Archive for March, 2022

America, what horror is looming toward us? What fate is staring in our face?

Sunday, March 27th, 2022

We see news of violence at meetings of school boards - our closest local governmental body, overseen by elected, unpaid, community volunteers - meetings formerly peaceful and respectful, that have become shouting rows tinged with threats of violence over issues that barely exist - face masks, “critical race theory” - which is a college-level concept not taught in public schools - and attempts to purge books from school libraries over alleged sexual content, which one Iowa resident alleged included “child-adult sex and books that promote pedophilia,” a preposterous statement.

The furor against schools, against libraries, against face masks, against the vaccines that have saved our lives in a worldwide pandemic, is creating a cauldron of hatred that will - if we cannot control ourselves - steer our beloved country further away from civility on “this land … your land” - the hills and cities and farms and hamlets and apartments and factories - into fearful disorder.

Meanwhile, civic order is also seeing challenges to local and state elections, as the “stolen election” lie has caused local administrators - some experiencing threats to their lives - to resign, and new state laws are passed to restrict who can, and how easily, vote, both of which foretell an assault on our precious right to choose whom to elect as our leaders.

This apparent chaos exists because one man, who had been our president, repeated and repeats, over and over - with no evidence - the “Big Lie” that his attempt to win reelection was stolen from him. And because elected leaders in his party, extol and repeat his lies, a huge portion of our country believes our president is illegitimate.

Reflect that each of these questioning officeholders appears to see no problem with the vote count in their own reelection - won by having their name checked on the very same ballot on which voters also checked a box for the office of president. If the ballots were fraudulent, wouldn’t their own election be fraudulent, too?

Imagine how empowered Russia’s and China’s leaders must feel, watching us tear each other apart, weakening our national government. Perhaps that’s why Putin is killing his opponents and destroying Ukraine? Maybe he thinks the U.S. isn’t such a tough opponent anymore.

Stoked by enormous lies, repeated over and over, by extremist politicians and the far-right cable “news” channels in a symbiotic echo chamber, many of us believe the government is against us; that it is threatening our freedom.

But look at what objectors to our government can do here - demonstrate, peaceably, with marches and signs and even slow-driving “convoys” around our nation’s capital - and compare that to the genuine threat to freedom ripping apart Ukraine, where middle class cities, families, children, schools and hospitals are being destroyed by Russian tanks and bombs and missiles, just because the people and the government won’t surrender their genuine freedom to a murderous dictator.

Being asked to wear a mask, to get vaccinated, during a worldwide outbreak of a new and deadly infection that has claimed millions of lives, is called an assault on our freedom? Look to Ukraine, if you want to see what a real assault on freedom looks like.

Here we can express our disagreement, but not express it with violence. Why would we? We can go anywhere we want, walk wherever we want every day, if you are white, that is. We can travel between cities and go to work, our children can go to school, we can read whatever we want, say whatever we like, love whomever we love, watch whatever we want, listen to whatever we want to hear - all without anyone in authority telling us we can’t; all without anyone grabbing us off the street.

Are the anti-mask/anti-vaccine and anti-school cries for “freedom” a foretelling of widespread violence? Is it actually true, frighteningly true, that greater numbers of us think political violence is acceptable? That another January 6 would be likely … in the freest nation on Earth?

We know this is happening. And it frightens me to death.

My friend in The Netherlands wrote to me that “Biden’s (1/6/22) speech, the whole horrible event of January 6th, has been given much attention on tv over here. And that makes it clear how important it also is to us and our values … democratic values.” He added, “One can hardly believe what is happening right now in Republican states like Arizona and Georgia, where Trump’s lies in advance are given a ‘legal’ basis for overturning the correct results of elections in the future.”

Where are we? Is this the United States of America? The place where Jefferson declared, “all men are created equal”? Where Roosevelt strove to calm Depression fear and to topple fascists abroad? Where JFK sought a New Frontier and Johnson said, “We shall overcome”? Which Reagan called “a shining city on a hill”? Where Lincoln pledged that our unique commitment to self-governed liberty “shall not perish from the Earth”?

America, who are we? And what will we become?

Will we become?

Read, learn, seek truth, and vote, knowing that in the United States of America, your voice matters, and your vote is, without question, fairly counted.