Is American democracy on the decline? It has assuredly fallen on hard times recently. But how fragile is it? Can it withstand a more cunning Donald Trump? A person who is charming on the outside and a power grabber on the inside. Would the American electorate ever allow the Proud Boys to become the homeboys?
A last-minute charm offensive by the Donald could have been the honey that lured the .02% of the electorate that would have made the difference. What would have happened if Trump had gotten another four years? The core belief that our democracy is perpetual has been tested. What we have found is, at best provocative and is at worst, profoundly alarming. Vigilantes in the street waving Nazi flags, burnings outside of black churches, and a President who thinks there are “good people on both sides” leads to a realization that perhaps our long-cherished democracy is not as perpetual as we hoped.
We celebrate our soldiers who sacrifice so much to defend our freedoms from foreign provocateurs who hate all that our country stands for, only to find that our gravest threat is within. Is this simply the remnants of white supremacy that lost the Civil War? Is the black man or brown man so threatening that the forces of evil are willing to risk everything to hold onto the power and the greed that has come to define this presidency?
While a perpetually distracted presidency lingers, plotting how to overturn an election he lost fair and square, foreign threats invade our technology and threaten our infrastructure.
These are disturbingly unsettling times. The pandemic is raging, pushing worldwide medical care to the breaking point. The economy is buckling under the pressure of the highest unemployment rates since the Great Depression. Evictions and homelessness are soaring.
When the pendulum swings, it has always swung back. The COVID vaccines are rolling out at “Warp Speed.” The American electorate has spoken clearly that Trump and his cronies must go. There is great hope that if we can tame the virus, the economy is ready for a forceful recovery. The pendulum has always swung back. We depend on equilibrium. We count on hope springing eternal. This idea that a people could govern themselves without a monarch or without totalitarianism was a novel thought nearly 250 years ago. We pray for the next years and hope for many more. We the people, for the people and by the people shall not perish from the earth.