Welcome to the third revolution, televised, and yes, there will be more blood.
Compliments of the ongoing Republican Party’s reconstruction, and Bernie Sanders’ call for a radical movement, we have been daily witnesses to what can only be classified as another American revolution.
And like the first revolution-winning in- dependence from England- and the second, the civil war- to keep the nation united-we will not be able to overcome this current struggle without violence.
After all, violence is in the DNA of America. That’s the American way, and besides, Donald Trump, the front-runner for the Republican nomination, has promised it.
And unlike many of his other outrageous promises, this one will be delivered – at his hand.
In fact, we have already seen some of his promises of violence delivered inside and outside his rallies and speeches. And he doubled down by promising a riot if he doesn’t receive the Republican Party’s nomination.
I think we are seeing only the tip of the iceberg. The depth of the citizens’ angst has, heretofore, been mostly hidden, but not for much longer.
Litany: people are angry!
Okay, I get that.
Chorus: We want to take our country back, and make America great again.
But just who are the people, and what, exactly are they angry about? Oddly, a growing number of the people are African-Americans.
Luther Campbell recently wrote that what he is hearing in the barbershops is that black men are disgruntled about illegal immigrants taking jobs from them. Is that an endorsement of Trump?
Just the other night, I participated in a Salon where I raised the question: How do we make America great? Was it ever great? And if so, when?
The participants included a wide ranging demographic: whites, blacks, others; a millennial; at least one radical socialist; several sixties-era feminists; a few public school teachers; some white men who were self-made successful businessmen; a chaplain with the VA; a few self-proclaimed intellectuals, etc., and me.
After sharing some casual conversation, some nice food, and a few dinks (I had two cups of decaf coffee), we turned to the question. “America was great right after WW II” (when the whole country was united in that effort); “America was never great for everybody;”(there was always an underclass); “Right after the feminist revolution, following the civil rights movement, was when America was great;” “American has never been great since they killed all our heroes (MLK and Robert Kennedy)”; “Now that anybody can get a free college education, everybody can be successful, and no one should have any excuses for not being successful”; etc.
While no one spoke of Trump by name, to a person, we all agreed that the current political atmosphere has turned poisonous, and that America’s greatness is in question.
My position (it was my question) was that it is unfair to compare the present condition of our experimental form of democracy with past, unmet goals; that we are still experimenting with this democratic/republic, and the ideals expressed in the original organizing precept may be beyond our reach. But we must keep striving toward fulfilling them.
And if not, then what? I think we have reached the point in our country’s development where, since such extreme pressure has been placed on the electorate during the campaigns, the resulting juvenile reactions are not surprising. We are conflicted and confused from the fury some of the candidates have whipped up in us.
The fiery rhetoric, the veiled, as well as direct calls for outlandish behavior from Trump, has tapped into our childish insecurity. The country is acting like a petulant adolescent, giving a collective knee jerk response to lash out questioning, and yes, with violence.
Perhaps, it may be time for us to examine some older, more established western societies.