By Vernon A. Williams, Gary Crusader
Over the past week, Americans saw the unbelievable – heard the inconceivable.
No matter how diverse our thinking on matters relating to the economy, education, the military, gay rights, abortion, race, religion and other hot topics, the one area of virtual unanimity was love for country; that we would never put an enemy before our own.
That’s just fundamental common sense. Red state or blue state, under attack by a foreign power makes us all in a state of war. The United States has battled from within (remember the civil war) and conflict is constant in this new millennium. But never is it okay to take off your uniform and play for the other team – no matter how you disagree with the coach.
That’s why the most far right conservative and the most far left liberal – with only a few despicable exceptions – were disgusted and outraged when 45, over a week, managed to alienate our closest, most reliable and longest standing allies to do a bear hug on our long-standing adversary.
It was surreal.
Most baby boomers remember when they were in grade school and folks tried to convince us that you avoid the gruesome outcome of a nuclear bomb by simply hiding under a desk and covering your head. It was ridiculous, but it planted the seed in our mind that as good as things seemed – we needed to be aware that this nation does have mortal enemies – none of which were more prominent than the former Soviet Union.
The “red menace” that prevailed throughout the Cold War had some folk sleeping with one eye open through most of two decades. Even when the weakening of the USSR and the threat of Russian Prime Minister Nikita Kruschev who pounded his shoe on a desk shouting “we will bury you” became less of a danger, we still knew not to trust the Communists.
So over a relatively short amount of time, we have gone over the blaring of warning sirens, occasionally tested in case missiles were sighted, to a president who denounces the CIA, FBI, Department of Justice and entire U.S. intelligence community, instead opting to stand in agreement with a former KGB operative who now leads a Russian caught tampering in U.S. elections.
Nothing is more sacrosanct in this republic than the integrity of democracy. To blatantly disrupt that process should be abhorrent to any persuasion of U.S. citizen. And yet the so-called leader of the free world refused to offer strong opposition to this cyber assault. It is almost too much to digest.
For once, the quiet among the Republican party are embarrassed enough to whisper their discontent. They still are not proposing strong retaliation of Russia or repudiation of Donald for his disgraceful show of disloyalty to the nation.
If nothing else, this fiasco leaves the Republican party more vulnerable than ever. The option they have is defending the defenseless or doing too much or nothing about what they confess is wrong with their own lips. Trump trying to back out of his huge blunder was worse than the original offense. His insincerity was apparent. Nobody bought it.
So here we are in an election year. It is clear that there will be no impeachment and that 45 will serve his full term with the prospect of a second unless one of two things happen. Either Robert Mueller ultimately lowers the boom and forces the hand of the GOP or Democrats FINALLY get it together and put together a winning game plan.
There are no guarantees.
If Democrats aren’t careful, the only blue they will see in November is the sad aftermath of party followers optimistic for this to be a year of change.
How bad would you have to be not to capitalize on the inane blunders, feckless inaction, lack of moral turpitude and borderline treasonous inclinations of the GOP since 45.
With only four months to go before the seminal midterm elections November 6th, there are two imperatives for challengers for the current administration. Number one it isn’t enough just to be against folks – you have to define your agenda. Number two, those chosen to represent must have fresh, charismatic, broad and genuine appeal.
Democrats have to figure out how to throw a wide net to address the concerns of massive populations without alienating their most faithful base. It can be done. And the man or woman chosen as the stand-bearer must be beyond reproach, courageous, visionary and tireless in the pursuit of moral and effective leadership.
This is not mission impossible. But it won’t happen just because people are thinking about it. Those who are ready for a change need to mobilize strongly and do it now. The effort must be relentless through the last minute of Election Day. Democrats have to be mindful of old Republican tricks and watchful for new ones. They may need to come up with a few of their own, as well.
The important thing is that everyone who favors a better America must believe that it can happen as fervently as those whose rogue agenda disrupted the status quo the last time around. Take nothing for granted. It is anybody’s ball game and we can see that revolution some envision or we can languish in the mire of the repulsive “new normal.”
One would just hope that the last two weeks have provided a genuine wake-up call for America!
CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference-makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to: [email protected].