Russia’s Vladimir Putin must be smiling now, remembering Reagan’s pronouncement of America as ‘a shining city upon the hill whose beacon light guides freedom loving people everywhere.’ That beacon light is flickering now, as indeed we all have seen in a small way when a wild storm passes over our lamp-lighted homes.
Putin’s smile clearly begs the question on whether U. S. political currents embedded in highly-charged, cultural streams are now too strong to be effectively moderated and governed? Are we potentially moving toward an actual political threat to foundational democracy?
In point: Political differences are no longer debated, but media weaponized; Truth has become irrelevant to Power; political honor is seemingly a relic of the past; demonizing of ‘the other side’ is the political strategy of choice; National News is being increasingly propagandized; personal, brandished, military-style arms are available to most all; a potential ‘existential threat’ to Democracy is being debated.
In sober reflection, perhaps we should stop and take stock, with each citizen voluntarily taking a ‘political self-awareness dementia test.’ Will some of us be found unaware that politically we may be in the process of unwillingly becoming democratically unhinged? Equally troubling, there are people who don’t even seem to care.
Is Putin’s smile, right? Is our democratic structure beginning to fail us? Or just that are we failing it?
As a citizen, are you sufficiently lucid to give an answer? More importantly, what can we do together, as responsible citizens, to repair our Hillside Beacon Light, and thereby change Putin’s smile into a scowl?
Richard Sinderson, Kerrville