It can’t get any worse than this!
Phew! What a time. It is hard to decide what is most critical. When I think I have an idea to write about, another unprecedented event screams for comment. Years ago, I learned not to say it can’t get any worse. Life seems to show you worse after such a statement.
Political strife has been with us for a long time and continues to escalate. I fear the January 6th assault on the capital is not the last, nor the worse we will see. Political Strife on top of the pandemic that has killed 373,000 Americans, growing larger every day. Fifty-one million Americans are unemployed, and food lines like those of the great depression. Our nation is under great stress. For many Americans, it is about survival. The choices are impossible, risk exposure to covid19 or don’t feed your children, pay the rent or buy food and medicine.
America was divided before 2020 for at least four years, maybe for the last thirty years. But this divide is now visceral. The stakes are all or nothing. Those not with us are the enemy. Roughly half of Americans are in bitter opposition with the other half.
Conservative versus liberal seems a good enough label to identify each side, but there is so much in play than these labels identify. I align with liberals, and that pretty much tells you what I believe about most issues. But I feel the desperation when I hear the call of those who went to Washington last week, “Our last chance to save our country.” I am sure people wanted Trump to be President just as strongly as I wanted him gone. How can we hope to find common ground?
Here’s my biggest fear. The time that comes to my mind when thinking about America today is 1850 and abolition. American did not handle that political divide very well. It led to the civil war and 620,000 American deaths. To my mind, we never resolved that issue — we just stopped shooting. Today we haven’t started shooting, but it is not hard to imagine that it is coming. American terrorists or freedom fighters, does it matter? Is there any political issue worth killing fellow Americans?
I believe that it does not have to come to this. I hope the Democrats can see the pains that Donald Trump was able to appeal to and address those pains. I hope Washington can see outside the beltway and beyond a liberal agenda.
I say to Joe Biden, and people like me who aligned with Democrats, if half of America thinks we are wrong, it does not matter if we are right. We need not abandon our goals rather see beyond them. We need to pull up without pulling down. We need to listen to Hillary’s deplorables because they are not.
I hope that our Democratic Washington can be what Joe Biden said he wanted to be. It can be a government for all Americans. It can achieve an American unity where disagreement does not make enemies. I urge we tone down our rhetoric. We speak truth not to support our ambitions, but because it is truth. We work for a better America for everyone, rich and poor, black and white, immigrants and citizens, red and blue, protestors and police.
United we stand.