October 30, 2022_
By Arthur H.Gunther III
Our America, at times wonderful to the point of tears – emotional, caring, giving – is also in its citizens’ fear as mean as can be – from want, loss, uncertainty in great and challenging change. We then fall back on the temptation that is prejudice, born of frustration, deliberate ignorance and survival. Those who would “lead” only for themselves and their agenda quickly seize the moment and become false pied pipers.
Such a time is now, as it has been before – in the Civil War, in lynchings, in mass immigration, in urban flight, in the present fear of a world collapsing about us in every which way.
Yet, standing at a window with both light and dark, we can see possibilities of the future as well as failures of the past. If we open the window, what will we let in?
Our nation is 246 years young, an experiment described by founder Benjamin Franklin: “You have a democracy, if you can keep it.” Speaking after a session of the Constitutional Convention, his seeming intent was that democracy is fed nutrition by citizen participation – compromise, tolerance, a get-it-done-for-the-betterment-of-all attitude. Or we lose democracy.
Time to open the window.
The writer is a retired newspaperman.