Dangerous Dark Roads
This election has awakened dark, dangerous demons I had hoped were dead and buried. But apparently, they were only slumbering in our nation’s psyche and have now been brought back to life. If we don’t confront them and resolve their root causes they will lead us down dark and dangerous roads.
To challenge them we must face what has brought them back to life – appeals to deep currents of anxiety, fear, anger, prejudice, bigotry, and even hate in significant segments of our society. Segments that too many of us have basically ignored or thought would lie quiescent. In facing these threats, however, we must not demonize those who hold and harbor such feelings.
Most of them are essentially good-hearted people often found in blue collar working class neighborhoods, in rural America, in the rust belt, the farm belts and throughout middle-America – and they are hurting. They are people who struggle to find or keep secure, decent paying jobs and have abandoned hope of someday being able to retire. They include those who feel threatened by the empowerment of minorities, women and immigrant populations. Each of them has a vote and they evidence a deep and dangerous divide in our nation. A divide we must heal.
Where they have legitimate frustrations and grievances we as a nation must address them and find solutions. Where their attitudes are the product of baseless anxiety and fear, we must work to help them see the true facts and real interests of our country and its people, which are their true interests as well. And where out of mindless faith they are simply relying on empty promises we must lead them to the realization that faith can only lift our nation when it is coupled with fact based reason – with reason and faith being like the two wings of a soaring eagle that must work together or we crash.
We must fight against anyone applying the Machiavellian maxim of “divide and rule” to gain sway over our land. Our country can only be truly great if it is great for all Americans, great for all the world.