The past years have been one long procession of shattering of sacred cows. From banks, to politics and politicians, through intelligence agencies, and even the police, no institution is sacred anymore and nothing is above ridicule and contempt.
Even the sacred cow of freedom of expression, hinged in the First Amendment, has been hijacked and butchered by, well, fighters for freedom of expression.
Where does this disintegration leave us? We cannot believe anyone, and we are afraid to say it since there is no freedom of expression. Worse yet, hope that things will improve is quickly fading.
“Once people respect each other’s right to dignity, it is possible to start looking at how the beauty and strength of America comes precisely from its diversity.”
This is a very perilous situation. At the same time, it is the only situation from which it is possible to grow. When there is so much separation and alienation in society, it is clear that the only solution is its opposite: union. America is in a do or die situation. Either people unite above all that separates them, or the last strings still holding the country together will snap and a second civil war will erupt.
The good news is that it is not too late. As long as there is communication, there is hope that people will listen to reason and understand that there will be no justice or peace for anyone if there is no care for everyone. Care, or at least concern, is the basis for building a just society.
Think of parents with their children: When the children fight, the parents might side with one child or with the other, but they will certainly act out of love for both, and therefore justly, trying to accommodate the needs of all the children.
The American people have no parents; no one will tell America who is right and who is wrong in the struggle that the anguished nation is experiencing. As a result, if the American people do not muster the strength to put the common good above self-interest, it will plunge into bloodshed and everyone will lose.
This year, 2020, is a critical year. Three factors have converged this year, each of which could dismantle any society: COVID-19, the George Floyd protests, and the presidential elections. Together, the three form a perfect storm that will require a truly brave nation to overcome.
Even where the police have not been disbanded, it is difficult to see how they alone can restrain people from an all-out eruption of violence. Unless people resolve to restrain their frustration, anger, and mainly hatred for the other party or color, no police or National Guard will help. It is the choice of each individual to set an example of restraint, respect, and ultimately care for others, simply because everyone, every single person, is a human being. And as I would want others to treat me, so must I treat others.
Once this level of restraint is achieved, it is possible to talk about bringing people closer. Once people respect each other’s right to dignity, it is possible to start looking at how the beauty and strength of America comes precisely from its diversity. America is home to all the races, all the colors, all religions, and every political view. Were it not for this diversity, America would not be America. But to see this, Americans must put the nation before the faction, the whole before the parts. Then, and only then, they will be able to unite and be the role model that they can and should be, the leader of the free world.