American racism and social dysfunction are on trial again this week. Police departments are thrown into the breach to solve problems that we refuse to commit resources to solve as a society, or act as a source of repression. The police have a range of tools to coerce people, but they will be the first to tell you that those tools don’t work well with hopeless, traumatized, or mentally unstable persons. We must all support public safety by re-thinking how we achieve it. Police officers should not have high suicide rates, or a constant drumbeat of killing unarmed Black men or others because they feel threatened. Police have a dangerous job that is made worse by our society’s cruelty and heartlessness using them to clean up the mess or maintain a broken status quo. Support all levels of government in planning and implementing improved public safety measures that reduce negative or coercive police interaction with the public.
Americans need to work to reclaim the belief that we are the land of the free and home of the brave. Conspiracy theories pit Americans against their government and each other. Americans assaulted the Capitol based on lies and appear to be fools, something that enemies and allies have to place into their calculations when they think of the United States. Americans do not see themselves as brave. We see Republicans fearful of congress people who claim Jewish lasers started large forest fires in California, and that documented school massacres were faked. Courage is repeatedly seen in short supply as lies are preferable (in mass media like Fox and One America) to the truth. Freedom relies on the truth to exist, but the example of Trump shows that Americans are extremely tolerant of corruption and lies from right-wing ideologues. The right wingers voice a steady stream of violent threats and it is a matter of time before threats to freedom force more security checks, fences, and armed guards. We will all have to be brave and vote to confront fascist terrorism and bullying if we want to stay free.
The Democratic controlled House of Representatives and Senate is where the action is for rebuilding the base of the republic. Joe Biden has told us what he wants to do, but he needs congress to make it a reality. Trump has been impeached but now should be convicted and banned from ever holding office again; unless we want to see more like him in the future. The COVID19 pandemic threatens to morph into a new threat with variants overtaking vaccines if we do not act quickly to finance the fight against it. Assistance for people financially damaged by the pandemic and the rest of the economy is needed sooner to prevent more damage later. Civil rights for all Americans to be treated with dignity is urgent as our society battles extremism and hate. Climate change has it’s own timer and does not care if we respond or not, but if we care for future generations the time is now. Democrats have been given control and now must show supporters that they really care about the issues important to voters. I am hopeful that we will see boldness from congress and the Biden administration. Stay focused and be ready to provide feedback and support to your representatives and the administration.
The calendar shows that we are in a new year, but it feels like 2020 continued after the sacking of the US Capitol. America has put itself through a lot with bad decisions and lies taking the country to the brink of disaster. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in soon providing new direction and hope to millions of Americans. Meanwhile, millions of other Americans believe that evil cannibals are taking over the government, the country is being overrun by minorities, and their savior has been removed from the power. Our country has been turned against itself by the love of power and money while mass and social media companies knowingly spread lies that created havoc to gain audience. We have become addicted to having everything our way including “reality”. America’s challenge going forward is to make the truth widespread, and lies shameful or at least unprofitable. The United States has been a beacon for democracy and human rights around the world; now the light has gone out and we are an unstable country. I am hopeful that the Biden-Harris administration will have the support to make truth normal, to turn the lights in our hearts and souls back on. The struggle between good and evil is eternal; America on the right side of history is relatively recent, our strength is the truth.