It is certain, in any case, that ignorance allied with power is the ‘most ferocious enemy justice can have.’ James Baldwin ( African-American writer 1924–1987)
Have we learned anything from past events, all of which have touched our lives? Are we steeped in history, unable to learn from tragic events? Let us not wallow in despair for all the ugliness of our time, we have to also acknowledge and learn all the good Americans have accomplished, to name a few like its multilateralism, alliances, treaties, its science, technology, and the many good this Nation has done. Not to be blindsided …it has also done a lot of damage, yet the basic belief is built on the great Document of the Constitution, that men are created equal…I would add women! Yet, we have to be vigilant in our clear thinking and expectations. It takes courage to speak up during this very complex, uncertain time. Much doubt has been spread and it takes courage to stand up to the best in the American Experience. It has to be protected by all!
We also have to pay attention to protect what is best in America. The danger to take democracy and its freedom for granted has to be acknowledged. Anne Applebaum has written in her book Twilight of Democracy…the Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism. It is a defining moment at this time how dictators erode the value of freedom. It is not the mob who does the destruction, it is the apathy and disinterest of citizens. It starts out by curtailing the freedom, calling the Freedom of the Press a deception or a hoax. This illiberal one-party state is not just an idea or a philosophy, but a mechanism for holding power. Anne Applebaum clearly defines who gets to be the elite, the political elite, the cultural elite, the financial elite.
The cultural power of authoritarianism is growing worldwide; the modern ‘clercs’ ( enablers, sycophants) who have attained real political power in Western democracies are the ones operating and participating inside the government. By forcing a coalition, guiding political parties for their own gain, not for the good of the people they rule. They are members of movements that we call “The Right.”
The result of hyper-partisanship that adds to the distrust of ‘normal’ politics is no wonder; it derides or mocks establishment politicians, experts, and mainstream institutions - including courts, police, civil servants. As polarization increases, the employees of the state are invariably captured or ridiculed by their opponents. For example, it is not an accident that the Law and Order Party of Poland, the Brexiteers in Britain, and the Trump administration have verbal assaults on civil servants and professional diplomats. It is not an accident that judges and courts are now the object of criticism, scrutiny, and anger in so many other places. There can be no neutrality in a polarized world because there can be no nonpartisan or apolitical institutions.
A good, honest, and competent government is essential as well as critical solutions. Since the Second World War British Torries American Republicans, East-European Anti — Communists, German Christian Democrats, and French Gaullists, all come from different traditions, but as a group, they were, at least until recently, dedicated not just for representative democracy, but also for religious tolerance, independent judiciaries, free press and speech, international institutions, the transatlantic alliance and the political idea of the “West.” By contrast, The “New Right” does not want to conserve or preserve what exists at all; the price for destroying of this vision is not fathomable yet. At this time, we can observe it…and must move beyond this destructiveness of much-respected democracies.
For example, in continental Europe, this new Right scorns Christian Democracy, which also created the EU after the nightmare of the Second World War. In the United States and the United Kingdom, this new Right has broken with the old-fashioned small ‘c’ conservatism. It is suspicious of rapid change in all its forms of past governing.
Indeed, The World is Watching for where America or any Free Nation is going to be in this demanding and constantly changing world. America has also made some very good as well as poor decisions. The world is looking for leadership and hopes to overcome its negative influence on race and emigrants. It has been called out on racism, on inequality. It takes a wise, competent leader to clear the mistakes of the past. Democracy is not built on sand nor on complacency, it has to be protected; it is the responsibility of the voters of a Free Nation…no matter where or when to fight for their rights.
The darkest place in hell is reserved for those who maintain the`neutrality in times of moral crisis.` Dante Alighieri (Italian Poet 1265–1321)