Our Heads Are Exploding. (Revised)
It's not that we are strangers to tumult or disharmony. We grew up in the sixties. But this feels different.
We have had Presidents with whom we have disagreed. We have before taken to the streets to protest what they have done. We have even had one who was on his way to impeachment and resigned instead. But through it all, we have maintained our fundamental belief that our three branches of government and the checks and balances that our Founders so wisely entrusted to our care would ensure that the ship would not go radically off course, that our democracy would endure.
That belief is being all shook up. We almost don’t know what to think.
Our Tweeter-in-Chief regularly trashes values--like civility and parents’ love for children--that make all Americans proud. Allies become enemies, tossed at the slightest provocation, and enemies become friends even after they tamper with our government and threaten our existence. Loyalty and family trumps knowledge and experience. Trade wars are waged even though they harm our citizens and serve no ostensible purpose. And then we have reopresentatives on both sides of the aisle who are not doing their jobs—Republicans are afraid to challenge and Democrats impotent and unguided.
Finally, our public discourse had disintegrated. We have lost our essential focus on facts. We don't even use the same words in the same ways. Our world view has been obscured by the relentless focus on the tweet of the day. We almost can't remember what is important any more.
We Boomers are proud of our country. We grew up basking in the respect we were given because we are Americans, citizens of a great country. We grew up in a world where America was kind and generous, a nation leading others toward the light and the future. We grew up in a country where even the worst presidents loved our country, recognizing that an essential pillar of its greatness was the people's right to exercise their freedoms, including the freedom to disagree. Who understood that this is a country of laws, not of personality.
Yes, our heads are exploding. How did this happen? We bear some of the blame, of course. Maybe not sufficiently engaged, or listening enough, or arrogance. Whatever the reason, we need to be part of the solution. We can't save our country by burying our heads in the sand, or ignoring those who voted for this President because they were rightly aggrieved. We need to get to work. Talk respectfully with those who disagree with us. Try to find common ground. Get out the vote. March with students tired of watching death stalk their classrooms. Support women assaulted by powerful men.
There is much for citizens to do. Let's do it. Then we will have a July 4 we can all celebrate.
Post slightly revised. The original post reflected our frustration, but not in a useful way. We want to encourage communication, not intolerance. We welcome comments.