the light of
(Matthew 5: 14-16)
I pray there's truth in "the darkest hour is just before the dawn" because darkness abounds. There appears no bottom to the dystopia Donald Trump, his staff and enablers foment.
Guilty of the most egregious leadership failures in modern times, amplified by destructively individualistic fools who refuse to take the Covid-19 pandemic seriously, they unsuccessfully tried to bully a relentless global pandemic virus into submission as if nature even notices such human power plays. All are complicit in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of human beings and creation of world-wide economic chaos. Only sound science and responsibly implemented public health policies and actions, bolstered by broad and consistent community support have a chance to succeed.
For hundreds of years The United States of America was " the light of the world". People from everywhere admired our way of life and wanted to be here. The failed leadership of current politicians is being used by autocratic leaders in nations like China and Russia to "prove" democratic government is unable to respond to emergencies and autocratic leadership is humankind's best hope.
In this land of Free Speech we must respect our Constitution. According to the First Amendment
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievance".
Everyone living here has the right to state what they believe within limits based on the principle that no one is allowed to harm others to get what they want. Speech cannot be used to force or coerce someone or defame character.
Free speech works best when governed by an actively enforced Fairness Doctrine that specifies equal time must be legally provided opponents of positions taken so they can present their side of whatever position was presented. In the real world, there are often multiple factors inherent in most arguments presented that merit review.
Ronald Reagan dismantled the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 but it was an additional action of his that made proliferation of unrefuted accusations, lies and innuendos the norm. He invited Rupert Murdoch to become a citizen of the United States where our First Amendment made it possible for him to legally publish and broadcast untethered to reality stories. In Australia, where he came from, being a fake news monger would have gotten him arrested, monetarily fined and jailed.
Boasts, unrefuted accusations, lies, innuendos, defiant denial of reality are fake news mongers' tools of choice because the selling of manufactured fear and rage is profitable. It is no surprise that profitable production, sale and dissemination of fake news has grown exponentially.
Such lack of truth and inaccuracies can be managed with properly re-implemented and enforced safeguards as long as there are no real problems but not when crises threaten fundamental institutions, values, and public safety.
Our world crashed when President Trump and sycophants tried to use boasts, innuendos, lies, defiance and denial to bully the Covid-19 pandemic into submission. Incompetent leadership made the United States of America much less able to save citizens' lives, and for the pandemic to be far more destructive to our economy, than it was in sister state first-world nations with reality-based leaders. President Trump and his sycophants extinguished " the light of the world".
Hope has arisen in the emergence of a "sane, competent and experienced" Presidential candidate named "Joe Biden" and in an "inspirational" Vice-Presidential candidate named "Kamala Harris". Hopefully we'll elect them, and a congressional majority of competent reality-based representatives who can keep fake news mongers at bay long enough to restore national unity and normalcy.
President Obama was confronted by an existential crisis in 2008. Our nation faced an economic meltdown almost as bad as the current one President Trump has made worse.
What is forgotten is...
It was Vice-President Biden who led and monitored implementation of monetary and fiscal policies that kept the Great Recession of 2008 from becoming a Great Depression.
It was Vice-President Biden who demonstrated his ability find common ground with persons who held disparate views and to work with often hostile Congressional colleagues.
Not only was Vise-President Biden instrumental in ending the Great Recession but in doing so he helped launch the longest economic boom in the history of the United States of America.
If Joe Biden and Kamala Harris win, and Democrats gain control of the Senate and keep control of the House, there's a chance we will be able to manage the Pandemic, restore our economy and relight this nation's status as " the light of the world."
I'm not worried about Joe Biden's ability to protect himself from fake news mongers. After almost five decades in Washington he knows how.
Kamala Harris is a new to Washington phenomenon that arouses the same feelings of hope in me and many others that Barrack Obama aroused in 2008. She could be the first female President of the United States of America IF purveyors of fake news are not allowed to defame her character with unrefuted accusations, innuendos and lies.
Fact checking, by itself is necessary but insufficient. In the time it takes to fact check and refute one accusation, innuendo or lie the purveyors of fake news will tell five more making it impossible to keep up. Fake news is dangerous because many people eventually believe repeated untruths. She will need help.
She has allies. Kamala Harris is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and her sisters can be relentlessly formidable. Sorority and Fraternity alumni tend to be well educated, to know how to legally make things happen and to be well-connected to persons with power.
Now is the time for Sorority and Fraternity alumni to rise up unite, organize and restore the United States of America as " the light of the world".