Amid all the political dysfunction occurring at every level of our government, and historic indictments of a former president, what really hangs in the balance is the very survival and future of our democracy.
We each have a defining decision to make in the coming months.
What are we willing to do to save democracy, to save America?
You may be asking: “What can I do to help save our democracy?”
But far too often, we treat politics as a spectator sport.
To many of us, politics is like a passing parade — a moving panorama of faces and personalities that we cheer on or come to fear, often with passion but only rarely with action.
We are content to leave the critical operations of our government to others as we pay intermittent attention and abdicate the responsibility of holding them accountable.
As citizens of a democracy, we have a critical role to play and responsibilities to carry out. More so now than ever.
Given what we will face in the coming months, it will take all of us who are eligible to vote, all of us who truly care about the future of our democracy and this nation to pay careful attention to what is being said and done under the guise of saving democracy or doing what is best for America.
We, the people, cannot afford to remain on the sideline.
We can easily become overwhelmed, discouraged and fearful of how our nation and our way of life might change.
Take heart. Take courage. Take a stand.
We all have a personal and collective decision to make.
What are you willing to take a stand for?
First, and foremost, are you willing to stand for truth and integrity? If you do, will you demand it from your elected officials who represent you — across all levels of government?
If not, then there is little or no chance that our branches of government will ever function as they should, and may cease to function at all.
Will you stand and support the rule of law that protects our citizens and institutions? Will you insist that those who represent you do the same? If they don’t, are you willing to vote them out of office?
History has many examples of how one person deciding to take a stand for the greater good, and thereby inspiring many others to join in the effort.
Now is our time to take a stand.
America is facing its greatest test in contemporary history.
We have been tested before, beginning with the American Revolution and our formation as a nation. From the Declaration of Independence to the ratification of the Constitution. Through wars at home and abroad: the Civil War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, the Cold War the Vietnam War.
There have been many defining moments in recent history that have changed the course of America.
Yet, we have stood, and America has not only survived, but thrived.
Today, the test is different. The enemies are different.
We are fighting a war of words, propaganda and false indoctrination campaigns waged by the very leaders who seem hell-bent on destroying democracy rather than protecting it.
We have been confronted with social movements and cultural wars before. The difference is that they were not born and fueled by lies, misrepresentations and conspiracy theories.
As much as we may have grown tired and weary during the last few years, we cannot afford to ignore what is going on at the national level and right around us. It is not up to “them.” It is up to us to make sure that they do not prevail.
What is your list of things for which you are willing to stand?
In the coming months, with a very divided America, when truth is drowned out by lies, misrepresentations, cowardice, selfish interests, personal agendas, waning or no love for America and what she stands for, we all have a personal and collective decision to make.
It will not be enough to continue to just go along to get along irrespective of the detrimental consequences. It will require open minds that demands truth and facts, no matter how difficult they may be to face.
Who are you standing with? Why? What is there to gain personally, societally—short term, more importantly long term?
The overriding question: While the constant misinformation and disinformation campaigns continue, will there be enough of us left who will be willing to cut through it all and make the best decisions for democracy, and America?
Democracy, nor America, will survive if there isn’t.
We, the people, are the only hope to save our democracy, our republic.
Are we willing, and do we have the courage, to stand?
This column first ran in the Advance‘s sister outlet, the Missouri Independent.
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