I believe that the United States of America is in existential danger from several sources.
There is danger from a foreign power who has meddled in our last presidential election and seeks to undermine our very democracy by sowing doubt and distrust among us.
We have a President who seeks to divide us, one from another by pitting us against one another. He consistently violates long-held democratic norms, spreads disinformation and tries to make us believe that agents of the free press are the ones who lie rather than he. He seeks to profit from his position, rather than serve the people who have elected him and those others who share this great land with him. He also regularly thumbs his nose at the concept of the rule of law and seeks to break all of the institutions whose purpose is to serve as a check to would-be tyrants.
Many other threats exist. Among all of the threats that endanger our nation and way of life, I believe the worst one is our disappearing ability to communicate with each other. Many forces conspire to drive us into ever-shrinking tribes where we communicate only with other members of our groups. We are quickly losing the ability to come to action as a nation of people.
We’re all acquainted with the strategy, “divide and conquer”. We are currently being successfully divided. If this continues and does not reverse, can the inevitable outcome be far behind?
There is hope though. We can all make choices to thwart this threat. Here are the steps I plan on taking to do my part to solve this crisis:
- I promise to be civil to all I deal with. This includes people with whom I fervently disagree on several issues. We don’t have to agree with everyone, but we MUST respect all people. When confronting people with whom my views differ, I will be respectful and state my views while providing information about why I feel as I do. In return, I ask my fellow humans to give me the same consideration. I will always try to remember that just because someone is opposed to something I support (or supports something I oppose), it doesn’t make them bad. I have my opinions just as they have theirs. I must respect them.
- When sharing stories or information that can be controversial, I will try to check the facts as best as I can. I will not blindly just share information which my point of view. Before I do, I will do my due diligence and check to see if the article, story, picture, etc. are factual and not just someone made up to elicit a certain reaction. Just because it’s on the internet, certainly don’t assure the information’s veracity.
- I will try to uplift people instead of bring them down. We all see negative “news” every day. I’ll endeavor to share stories about how we can all cooperate and share our lives.
- I’ll try to always keep in mind that we all have FAR MORE in common than we have differences. I’ll try to highlight those things in common and, at the same time, celebrate those differences we have. I believe that diversity is our great strength in this nation and among all humans in general. My perspectives on issues are by necessity, limited (as are those of all others). I can only know truth by comparing and combining my perspectives with those of others (see the poem of The Blind Man and the Elephant) .
These ideas are by no means complete or extensive, but it’s a start. Please let me know your thoughts and share your ideas and feelings as well.
Peace and love to all.