Pulling in the Same Direction
By Jorge D. H. Prosperi 2019
Democracy does not require agreement on all of America’s ideals to the same nth degree. The fact that we come from complex diverse backgrounds as immigrants to form one nation has been, and continues to be, a highly complicated enterprise with a painful history, legacy and lingering trauma. Past and current national issues, with their dynamic dimensions, have always been challenges for all citizens and will remain so.
What we count on is that the tenets of Citizenship are exponentially enhanced in order to address the growing complexities of emerging issues and hopefully that we do this united – pulling in the same direction with mutual energy, vigor and a relentless ever present commitment to each other.
Democracy and human rights require constant attention and mentorship – by not only political leaders but each citizen. We do not vote and walk away after voting. Our vote requires ongoing attention and advocacy as to expectations. Some would posit that we would be better served if the traditional dogmatic “tug of war” would become the “tug of peace” with all citizens pulling in the same direction. This seems to be such a common sensical endeavor. Pulling in the same direction in order to enhance the quality of life for all – without exceptions.
Imagine each social issue calling all citizens to approach the table of discourse with decency and civility in order to dialogue and better understand the complexities of each issue – regardless of zip codes.
Imagine recognizing and validating, not only the problems in our own backyard, but awareness of the complexities of issues and problems of our fellow citizens across town.
Imagine dissolving social anxiety and stress funneling all energy and efforts towards solving real-life problems rather than living in isolated regional rural, urban and suburban silos.
Imagine an America without lobbyists, special interests and dark money. Imagine a Citizenry, Congress, Senate, President, even Wall Street – all pulling in the same direction to enhance the quality of life for all.
As the 21st Century moves forward, it seems as if America is AGAIN experiencing a desperate hunger and thirst for human civility, decency, interaction, collaboration and unity. Citizens are challenged with ongoing daily scandals causing psychological fatigue, stress, anxiety and civic unease.
America is AGAIN being called to resist, not relent, not normalize historical-isms and phobias leading to corruption and self oppression. America AGAIN is being challenged by a 21st Century version of the Ugly American.
President Abraham Lincoln, during catastrophic times, asked us to unite our voices and efforts calling on “the better angels of our nature.” Eleanor Roosevelt shared that, “We make our own history. It is not so much the powerful leaders that determine our destiny as the much more powerful influence of the combined voices of the people themselves.”
So who dares to pull on the other side against our better angels, unity, decency, civility and the common good AGAIN, AGAIN, and AGAIN? Let us not mince words and reality.
Who is pulling on the other side of the better angels of our nature?
>>>>>>> racists, sexists, misogynists, homophobes, xenophobes, fear mongrels, social charlatans, unscrupulous politicians, dishonest greedy business wo/men, unethical corporations, White Nationalists, Domestic Terrorists and self-centered, self-righteous Ugly Americans with self-absorbent interests. They define America with the synonyms of “Me, Myself and I.”
I hope I have been fair. Language matters and therefore please notice that I did not mention once . . . not even once . . . Ultra Right, Deep State, Fox News, Fake News, Compulsive Pathological Liars, Malfeasance, Mendacity, Narcissist, Obstructionist, Altered Facts, Historical Revisionism, Red Hats, Angry Bitter Rallies, Conspiracy Theories, Bribery, Governing through Tweets, Russians, Saudis, Gun Laws Obstructionism, Impeachment, Institutional Nepotism, The Wall (without Mexican pesos), Sharpies, Gerrymandering, Caged Children, Absolute Thinking, Mueller Report, Convicted Criminals, Separátocide, Caravans, Nazis “some very fine people”, Administration of One, Dystopian World, Absolute Thinking, Anti- Intellectualism, Low-Information Voters, Derivative Thinking, Tea Party, Blind rather than Earned Loyalty, Leadership by Photo-Ops, Porn-Star Payoffs, Pedophile Comrade, Swamps turned Cesspools, Ego-Entwined Demagoguery, Kleptocracy, Mar-a-Lago White House, 103* golf days (as of Sept.2, 2019) costing $109 million, Emoluments, and the 01/20/2017 Inauguration Vision of America defined as Carnage-Grim-Doom-Gloom-Fear and Bitterness.
WOW! Quite a plethora of campaign rhetoric and promises! Lots and lots for the baseless “base” to chew on and spit . . . and now . . . swallow hard.
Each tug of war had its flash points with meaning, purpose and motivations. What remains the same is at the center of the rope – the soul of the nation – those inalienable rights as citizens – as human beings. The echoes of past tugs of war are ever present . . . they remind that fear, hate, and oppression, maintained by self-induced ignorance, are ever present – history reminds us so:
1776 – 1785 <<<>>>. . .1861 – 1865 <<<>>>. . .1877 – 1960 <<<>>>. . . 2019 – . . .
The real danger that persists with each generation is to remain complacent, standing on the sidelines watching the tug of war – not aware that the tugging is happening. The ongoing danger, regardless of the era and generation, is silence and citizen lethargy. For some the fear is denying the need for advocacy – avoiding personal engagement – avoiding social changes that are part of the 21st Century.
So at this point the critical question hovering over this essay needs to be asked . . .
What side of that rope are you on?
Please fill in the blank based on who you are as a citizen and human being – and then decide whether to pick up that rope and pull like your life and the lives of our children depend on it, because it does.
Not convinced? Ask the families of Flint, MI still getting bottled water. Ask families whose family members are impacted by the opioid epidemic. Ask the families whose air and water are being recontaminated. Ask educators whose districts are being resegregated. Ask miners and farmers who were used and duped for their vote and left to fend for themselves with darkened lungs and government subsidies per bushel. Ask the laid off GM workers of Lordstown and Dayton Ohio, Baltimore and Warren MI who were promised “jobs, jobs, jobs.” Ask the veterans who only come into view as props at photo-ops and then discarded. Ask moms and dads working two jobs to make ends meet. Ask First Responders, ER doctors and nurses how many times they respond to gun violence on a daly basis. Ask the families that are denied medical services and medication for their pre-existing conditions. Ask your neighbors who lost their jobs and now may lose their homes. Ask the college students who will be in debt for years to come. Ask parents and teachers who can’t point to government leaders of the highest authority as moral examples for their children to follow. Ask whether separating children from their parents is humanly tolerable. Ask if this is truly the America you believe in.
Not convinced, ask the families of Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Charleston, Pulse Nightclub, Emanuel African American Methodist Church, Sutherland Springs Church, Umpqua Community College, Las Vegas Shooting, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Tree of Life Synagogue, Walmart El Paso, Dayton Ohio, Odessa/Midland . . . and all the families who lost loved ones across America due to gun violence that never reached Breaking News status . . . THEY ALL MATTER!
“Oh the incessant patience of Lady Justice!
Don’t you ever wonder if she ever lowers her blindfold . . .
just a little . . . just to peak as to who we have been, are . . . becoming?
It is understood that Lady Justice needs to remain blind to justice’s tenets and processes. This is her burden and challenge.
But we, as citizens, don’t wear blindfolds – we see each other
for what we have been, are and can be . . .
AGAIN, AGAIN, and AGAIN . . . the rope awaits.