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Will we survive

“We are facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War.”

The words of President Biden. Fearsome words that chill the heart but aptly describe the feelings of many of us. A “significant test of our democracy.” Right now. Not some far off time when we may or may not face such a foreboding reality. NOW!

I’m a child of the 1930’s, privileged to live a long life, enjoying the rights of citizenship in this great nation. Rights that were always there. Rights we dearly defended whenever challenged by another nation. Rights we cherished so we could be sure our children – and their children’s children – would have and enjoy the same.

But Biden is right. We are a nation facing a new challenge to those rights. A challenge from within. Now!

Many, many years ago, another President – Abe Lincoln – made a prediction which most folks, at the time, thought a fantasy. Abe opined he had no fear of repelling any other nation who attacked this country.

“The danger, I fear,” he said, “will come from within.”

Stated in the mid-1860’s, about 160 years ago, Lincoln’s fear has never been realized. Until now. Until recognized and stated by another President.

We are witnessing the splintering of a national political party. Ironically, the Party of Lincoln is at war with itself and in danger of ceasing to exist in any realistic sense. The internal battle has begun.

We’ve heard, with our own ears, Republican members of Congress ignore their oaths of office, which were sworn before God, speak and vote falsely. Instead of supporting what’s best for this nation, they’ve trampled on truth, lied about fact and have used their voices to uphold a false prophet. In what has become a frantic effort to retain the power associated with their offices, far too many politicians are groveling at the feet of a twice-impeached fraud.

The balance of power in our nation’s highest legislative body is, itself, in danger. The effectiveness of Congress to serve is currently dependent on one Party – Democrats. The give-and-take of normal times has ended. At least for now. Comity, collegiality, respect – largely gone..

We’ve got dangers in our streets. The January six attack. Proud Boys. Oath Keepers. Deluded “patriots” answering the call of a siren’s voice now confined to the political wilderness. Armed. Dangerous. Unpredictable.

The all-out political attack meant to undermine the nation’s historic faith in its elections is a one-party Republican effort. Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and a few other states have conducted meaningless audits of the 2020 election results. All ended with spurious counts.

Our all-important electronic connectivity is under attack from abroad. Businesses and individuals in our nation are being threatened and held hostage by cyber-criminals. Our vital marketplace is being disrupted.

Russia and China are flexing their military muscle. Not just cyber-crimes. They’re openly challenging our defenses as our military operates in open territories on the sea and in the air. Fly-by’s and intentional near physical skirmishes in international spheres are becoming more dangerous.

Maybe, more than anything, the dangers to our Republic can be found in two words defining large groups of Americans: indifference and ignorance.

Evidence of indifference is everywhere. Numerous man-on-the-street interviews show a massive lack of understanding of current issues, of government, of elected leaders, of history and a general ignorance about the functions of this country.

The ignorance – and in some cases, determined ignorance – can be easily discerned in Americans swallowing the “kool aid” of Trump – of national right-wing media – of well-paid voices of verbal corruption.

Cut off from rational thought or differing views, the herd of millions of Americans responds faithfully to the lies coming from Trump and his minions. They have no competing views to contend with. Only the fraud and lies they see as truth – as a deformed and often false reality. Dangerous. We’ve already seen one full-throated call to action that sent several thousand of them to attack our nation’s Capitol.

Lincoln foresaw the possibility of danger to the Republic coming from within. Biden is seeing and warning of just such a fact now plaguing our country. Again, it’s not some far-off possibility.

It’s happening. Now!

“We are facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War.”


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