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  • Writer's pictureDoug Weiss

America doesn't need to be saved

Hear me out.  We have our share of challenges as we always have.  America was born out of challenges and with very few exceptions we’ve been in and out of economic, social and political jeopardy ever since.  Our years of peace and prosperity have been few and far between although some appear to have convinced themselves otherwise.


Today, millions lionize a demagogue and a party of sycophantic hangers on who harangue us daily with demands we make America great again.  But it is they who have breathed new life into racism, sexism, and intolerance.  It is they who invoke hate for any who disagree with their views, and it is they who would create a theocracy to replace our democracy.


Was America ever great?  I submit that the ideals on which our country was founded and our attempts to shape a country equal to those aspirations was and can be great despite its many flaws.  Our present challenges are solvable if we have the will and fortitude to act with reason. Some can be solved fairly immediately though others will take time to resolve. No doubt there also will be new challenges, those we can foresee and others we cannot. That is our history and our legacy, because we are not a country that has stood alone in the world even had we wanted to. Our responsibility to our own citizens and to the world make it impossible for us to ignore the plight of others or circumstances that threaten the survival of humanity and remain who we were intended to be.


We can solve our challenges, not by going to war against ourselves, and not be wringing our hands at all of the manufactured crises that have been invoked by politicians and those who wish us ill.  They have been remarkably successful at misrepresenting, lying, inventing stories, pointing fingers and fostering hatred all in the interest of dividing us and diverting our attention from the real issues of poverty, authoritarianism and racism of every stripe. 


Amidst the engineered chaos we are told reigns, our legislators, at both the state and federal levels have ceased to govern, trading rational dialog and reasoned compromise in the interest of their constituents for posturing, passing non-sensical laws to protect us from phantom threats while ignoring the very real ones that will upend our freedom and our way of life if we do not respond. 


America does not need to be saved, except from itself, from its own native-born detractors.  We have known how to roll up our sleeves and fix what was broken—we’ve elected leaders who, though they were imperfect, placed duty to their country and to humankind ahead of self-interest.  But today we elect those who hold office as if we were choosing the home coming King and Queen in some bizarre junior high school ritual.  We accept the idea that political candidates denigrate, demean and dehumanize their opponents and entire races of people while they remain bereft of any platform to advance the causes of justice, equity or tolerance. 


Nevertheless, I say again, we do not need to be saved—not by the disingenuous, by those who seek to fashion an America that never was what it appeared to be. We need to save ourselves by rejecting with all our energies and with complete transparency anyone who seeks to undermine us, regardless of their party, their religious beliefs, their social standing or any other credential save one; their loyalty to the principles on which our country was founded. That is what we must at all costs preserve.


If we fail to do this one thing, we will forfeit nearly 250 years of struggle and render senseless the lives of so many who believed in what America represented and paid the ultimate price to preserve it. Our grandfathers and grandmothers believed in America, it’s time we start believing again.

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