It’s official. The United States is not what it once was or was intended to be—a great society. Today, our country is cheapened by greed, blinded by fear, and contaminated by hate. On the whole, we have lost our shared moral compass—the one that guides us to be decent human beings, respectful of all life, compassionate for those who suffer and struggle, and tolerant of differences and frailties.
So much is in disrepair—our politics, judicial system, environment, civil liberties—it’s hard to imagine ever rectifying all the problems. And the widespread acceptance of ignorance, bigotry, and violence keeps expanding, with fake news fueling it every day.
For those who were reared not only on the Constitution and the promises of capitalism but also on the ideals of democracy, these times are disheartening at best. Even the most powerful tool we have for making change—the right to vote—has been usurped by Republicans in numerous states. On top of that, in the campaign of Donald Trump, our electoral process was infiltrated by Russia.
Now, we face at least four years of a President Trump. A man whose bigotry and misogyny were brazenly displayed throughout his campaign. A man with no experience whatsoever in government, unless you count his ability to scam the system. A man who poses a clear and present danger to our country at every level.
With two branches of our government controlled by Republicans—and the third likely to be controlled soon—all progressives are wrestling with what to do. Can we stop conservative overreach, invasion of our personal lives, and the dismantling of our safety nets? Can we survive the coming damage to the very fabric of our society? Can we stem the rising tide of oligarchy or autocracy or, worst of all, fascism?
It would be comforting to say, yes, we can. To think everything will work out for the best in the end. But the truth is, our democracy won’t survive without a nationwide coming together of progressive thinkers, grassroots activists, and trailblazing visionaries. It will take an unprecedented era of nonviolent civil disobedience and dissent. To save ourselves, our children, our society, and our planet, we progressives must unite in action as never before. And we have no choice but to start right away.
A lifelong communicator, I'm pretty sure I came out of the womb talking. But with no siblings to chat and play with, I learned to express myself in writing. My subsequent birth as a politics junkie came while I watched my father, a career Marine, sob uncontrollably over Kennedy's assassination. Intuitively, I knew the world would never be the same, and I should pay attention. So I did.
Now, some 50 years later, I find myself dumbfounded by the trajectory of American politics and the prevalence of ignorance, bigotry, hate, and violence. I started Two Cents of Sense, hoping to help change that trajectory and to promote progressives' conversation, knowledge sharing, and actions.