As one who has been privileged to share my opinions and feelings on a variety of subjects through this column, I recognize there is a reason there are 31 flavors to life.
Some agree and identify with some of my thoughts; some don’t. That is one of the great gifts we’ve been given being born in our time and place in history. We can form thoughts and opinions.
We can have views on a variety of subjects. And, for the most part, until recently, we can voice and share those opinions without fear. But, if we look closely, things are changing in subtle ways that should give all of us pause, regardless our views on any subject. Further, maybe we should assess our role in those subtle changes.
Someone was recently removed from a campaign rally for our current President because someone didn’t like the T-shirt they were wearing. Some at that same rally were chanting a slogan that has become a popular mating call in certain segments, but whose beginnings are anathema to the rule of law.
Some are bemoaning the loss of civility and dignity of our discourse as we debate our differences on issues. Some who are exercising their constitutional right to disagree with elected officials are given the term traitor. Some are celebrating the fraying of the institutions that have provided a framework for the practical work of our democratic republic.
As all these things occur, I ask myself the same question. For those who want to shatter the processes, laws and institutions that we have come to know and depend upon, my question is “what’s happens when everything we know is brought down?”
What’s the replacement? Is something waiting in the wings to step in and keep the gears of government going? If not, what happens next?
History is replete with examples of what happens when a society is suddenly presented with a void, and it has yet to prove a positive experience. There are always a few individuals who think they have all the answers. One of those answers is to keep the masses ignorant, confused, and under some sort of control.
As a country that pulls out the red, white and blue at the start of sporting events and one day a year during a summer picnic, we have forgotten the basics of what our type of governmental rule really means. Our society today isn’t that big on history. It’s not a class in school most enjoy anymore.
More’s the pity. It might prove illuminating. After all, others smarter than we have been there, done that. Most of our founders, whose words we claim to honor, were students of history. That’s one of the reasons the decision on the type of government this new world was to embrace was so difficult and laden with potholes.
They understood the teachings, and warnings, of Plato, Socrates and Aristotle when it came to governance. I wonder how many of us can accurately name the type of government we have here in the United States.
What happens next?
“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” –Winston Churchill