Post # 355  NATIONAL SEPSIS: A Short Essay

We, frankly, are in a state of alarm.

We have previously expressed our longstanding, principled and aesthetic, disinclination to comment on the topic of our current President. We have only done so, responsive to extreme events in his administration, which our conscience warned us of the potential self- accusation of committing the immoral “sin of silence.” The subject of our ignorant, incompetent, attention-seeking, head of state has inarguably, received more than sufficient publicity; criticism is entirely futile, and deserving of the appellation, “beating a dead horse.” Despite that long-standing, sincere and principled, inclination to avoid the subject of Donald J. Trump, currently, we, suddenly find ourselves, truly alarmed, concerning the actual, existential continuance, and recognizable identity of our, approximately, 300 year- old National Republic, as we know it.

It is our concerned observation, to borrow a diagnostic term from the field of medical science, that our Nation is presently so challenged, as to metaphorically, be in the clinically dangerous state of “sepsis.” The indisputable etiology of its onset, was the unhealthy elevation of Donald J. Trump, to its Presidency.

The general definition of “sepsis,” as we understand it, is the serious medical condition presented, when the patient’s body’s defensive responses are not sufficient, or are ineffective, to deal with an infection. The condition is gravely dangerous, the extreme case, actually requiring amputation. Our medical-political metaphor is intended to refer to the dangerous state of health of America’s body politic, which, at present, has succumbed to an exotic, infectious invasion, apparently incapable of reasonably known amelioration, systemically constituting the dire condition of “national sepsis”.

Under the aegis of this unsuitable executive, the idealistic dream of our Founding Fathers, in their radical and marvelous experiment in Republican Democracy, appears to have darkened to the point of its being more realistically described as a nightmare. Any and all, available, wise and experienced counsel, as to proper governance, national and international, appears definitively, to have taken a back seat to neurotic impulse; as a direct consequence, the historic health and vitality of our Nation has been, rendered, virtually, comatose.

To be sure, the American experiment has, in the past, come perilously close to failure: Slavery and the Reconstruction Period, the infamous impeachment of President Andrew Johnson, the Teapot Dome Scandal of the 1920’s, under President Harding, the dark and dangerous period of the McCarthy era, Nixon and Watergate, as well as overwhelming national schisms such as, Iran Contra and the Vietnam War. Happily, America’s body politic found within itself, sufficient systemic and defensive resistance, capable of combating and defeating these pathologies, and successfully, in time, recovered its former salutary health and standing.

Continuing our analogous reference, our body politic has fallen gravely ill, to a new and unique contagion; one that has, in approximately, three years, caused it to succumb to a substantial alteration in its national systemic vitality and character, resulting in a tragic functional breakdown, as well as perceived identity. The adolescent persona and ignorant incapability of our Chief of State, and his entourage, have managed to transmogrify the historic dream of an ideal, free, and thriving federal republic, as envisioned by our Founding Fathers, into a nightmare of a corrupt, incompetent and stagnant nation; functioning, to the extent that it can function at all, in effective derogation of its historically avowed and dedicated purposes.

Not all dreams come true and empirically, not all political-social experiments work. As a possible take on historic reality, our brilliant and optimistic Founding Fathers, true radical-idealists in the 18th Century, had no possible, or conceivable, anticipation of the political, social and scientific-technological changes, portended, for three centuries of the new country’s future. Not only would science and technology change and grow, at constantly increasing, exponential rates, but the persona and social context of the citizenry of the new nation, would change, radically. The nation, at its commencement, singularly created, free of class distinctions and privileged birth, would, in a matter of only a few centuries, evolve into a privileged class system, based, contemporaneously upon capital, financial prosperity. The wealth, earned and accumulated, by a relatively few entrepreneurs, was seemingly destined to remain concentrated in the hands of that minority, leaving the balance of American society, with a relatively small percentage of the National wealth; economically referable as “Middle Class and an underprivileged, “Lower Class.” These wealth classes were also distinguishable, sociologically, in educational aspirations and accomplishments. Many observers believe that it was, indeed, an easily misled, large block of insufficiently educated, low information voters, that was determinative of Trump’s, unexpected victory.

We will readily confess to often citing Thomas Jefferson’s admonition that, to have a successful democracy, it requires a literate and aware citizenry. We fear that the successful elevation of Donald Trump to the Presidency, despite the multiple prognostications, by a unified chorus of experts and academics of his being completely incompetent and unsuitable, to the Office, was a disappointing and clear indication that America has not developed, sufficiently, into a literate and aware nation. This glitzy, sleazy, former T.V. game show host, and real estate grifter, an ill-educated, and thoroughly obnoxious candidate, was, remarkably and successfully, elevated by a sufficient number of American voters to the Oval Office (perhaps with the improper assistance of third parties). The unhealthy condition of our previously respected Nation has previously been the subject of our comment. The operative question du jour, is, how to avoid an unhealthy repetition of this “Mad Hatter” tea party.

During the long, shameful period of experience of “Nixon -Watergate,” we were beyond reasonable impatience, for his removal as from office. During this period, we evolved our idea of two- party Parliamentary democracy, as the necessary, next, and perhaps, final, political, developmental step in our American evolution. We have previously written on this subject.

A Parliamentary system would be more directly and democratically responsible to the voter; who would never be painfully and impatiently, obliged to, await the slow conclusion of fixed, four- year Presidential terms of a Nixon or a Trump. Under relevant Constitutional rules, a “vote of confidence” might be demanded, at any time, and the public, if it so chooses, relieved of a disastrous electoral mistake.

Under the recommended governmental metamorphosis, the Parliamentary party receiving the most votes, would select a new national leader, called the Prime Minister. It is, history shows, imperative that the institution of a two party system (only) be continued, to assure, fidelity to the wishes of the successful voters.

The Constitutional changes to our Republic would, of necessity call for substantial legal effort, and wise legislative and Constitutional logistics, but would have permanently salubrious, as opposed to “septic,” results for our future Nation.

-p.

 

Post # 354 ASCENDANT DEMOCRACY

It is an inarguable, empirical fact, that citizens of a Democratic Republic, such as the United States, universally and willingly, recognize that the rules, and laws, promulgated by societal authority, expressed through its duly elected government, are legitimate, and accordingly, determinative. Yet, it is undeniably and simultaneously the case, that the national mantra (and a predicate principle of our sovereign nation) that each citizen has an absolute guarantee of its non-interference with individual, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” It might be useful to, once more, observe that, the two  antonymic concepts are conceptual mutual enemies.

Simply put, democracy is rule by the majority vote of the national population. It is obvious that any determination may be contrary to the will, and conceivably, limit the liberty, of some members of the  voting minority. That this not uncommon, is illustrated by the currently debated issue as to the legality of the general use of marijuana. As the law currently exists, it is criminal to sell or use marijuana; despite an evidently popular argument that the law, criminalizing such sale or use, interferes with liberty. We, do not, ourselves, smoke or use the Statutorily prohibited substance, but have, in various past writings, legally observed, that unless government can, demonstrate a public or health rationalization for such prohibition, its criminalization may be considered arbitrary, and accordingly, legally invalid and unenforceable. As noted, in previous writing, it is a fixed matter of established, American precedent, that, unless a rational expectation of harm can be demonstrated, societal proscription of liberty, is legally invalid and unenforceable.

Examples of properly adjudged, legal and justifiable abridgement of liberty, are found, in the matters involving the false cry of “fire” in a crowded theater (speech), the marriage to plural spouses (religion), non-peaceful protest (petition), the right to commit suicide (life). It is, and has been an established principle of law that every one of our assured freedoms have limitations (concerning interference with the rights of, or potential damage, to others). It was the French philosopher, Jean Jacques Rousseau, who is historically credited with the designation underlying concept, of the “Social Contract,” pursuant to which, man, voluntarily and contractually, surrenders some of his natural liberty, in exchange for the benefits derived from living in society.

Completely absolute and unharnessed majority rule, could result in, as termed by political scientists, a “tyranny of the majority,” in which, those not included in the voting majority, might find themselves under their absolutist rule. For this, and other reasons, (our often quoted) Thomas Jefferson, declared that, for a democracy to succeed, what is needed was informed, literate citizens. Citizens can keep themselves adequately informed, regarding vital national and personal issues, especially, proposed legislative and executive acts, which could be perceived as infringing upon guaranteed citizen liberty. Those, who, in order to satisfy their self-interest or political beliefs, would stifle or limit the rights of others, can be defeated by voters who remain vigilant, or, as necessary, by recourse to legal action.  It may be of some utility for the informed citizen, to review media which traditionally espouses views, in opposition to his,

Of the greatest importance to a democracy, is for the informed, literate citizen, to think, independently, based upon his personal perception of events, rather than “tribally,” viz., as part of a confederate group, or for irresponsible or social reasons. We are a country that has historically prided itself upon the independent and creative thought of its educated citizenry, and will continue to remain strong and successful, as long as this reliance is realistic.

We have, unfortunately, noted sundry, misguided approaches to the attempted ascertainment of the objective and unbiased sentiment of the voting public. There have been programs, in which the sponsor or organizer, of a public, panel discussion, dutifully and responsibly, arranges for participants who represent the opposing points of view in question; but far too often, selects those who espouse the extremist versions thereof, and logically, their nuanced, solutions.  The sophomoric belief, that by inviting such extremist opponents, the issue will be entirely covered and have a complete, full and fair airing, is laughable. This reductive ignorance, completely ignores the far greater number of individuals, on each side of the argument, who may have significantly more moderate views.  The understanding and appreciation that contested points of view, are not, usually, reductively identical, takes a bit more mature judgment, and at least a modicum of exercised reason.

We cannot resist reciting another, entirely whimsical, but, fictional, instance of an attempt, at the accurate ascertainment of the public need. A would- be entrepreneur, inexperienced, but wishing to enter into the men’s shoe business, inquired [ of the (reductionist) producer of the above panel discussion] as to what sizes of shoes should be purchased, for opening day. The always confident, reductionist, prudently and confidently advised, that, in order to avoid mistake, to order the average size man’s shoe size, as a start. In appreciative compliance, the new, inexperienced entrepreneur, after performing a little arithmetic, then, confidently, ordered an entire store inventory of size, 8 ¼ which, of course, fit, and sold to no one.

-p.

Post # 353   FERN’S FINAL DAY

The few who seem to remember her, knew Fern as a reserved, diffidently cautious person.  In fact, she would be, if the facts of her life were publically known, justly entitled to the celebrated description, as the Avatar of caution, of sensible and careful, as distinguished from risky, behavior.

A registered actuary, Fern maintained a sole practice in a modest, dimly lit, but immaculate office, across the street from a Municipal Hospital Emergency facility and, only four short blocks, north of a non-sectarian cemetery. As an actuary, Fran was professionally and personally aware of the percentages and possibilities of the human advent of illness and life-threatening danger. Living alone for her, had its drawbacks, the largest of which was loneliness; but considering the range of significant priorities, it  completely eliminated the hazard of contagion from another person.

Our heroine subscribed to a regular and unchangeable daily routine. When the alarm clock would go off at 6 am, every business morning, she would tap off the alarm with her left hand (the one that wore the glove, for such daily purpose). Each morning she would deposit that morning’s used glove into the laundry basket, to be machine washed (on “hot”) and sterilized, together with her regular wash.

She would then take her regular morning shower; absolutely never a bath, believing that, since one sat in the original water which contains one’s personal washed- off dirt, baths were unsanitary. She took a second, thorough shower upon returning home from the office. On weekends, especially if she did not exit her apartment, she took only the morning shower and merely, a thorough wash cloth scrub, before retirement.

Each morning, prior to dressing, she would set up the coffee maker, using, of course, bottled, sterilized water and decaffeinated coffee. Her unchangeable dressing protocol, for some bizarre reason, commenced with placing large Band-Aids on the back each of her feet, at the Achilles’ tendon, to avoid possible abrasion. Then, she would, defensively, apply a mixture of baby oil and sun screen to her entire body; her reasoning: the harmful sun is out 365 days of the year.

She then would prepare her breakfast, faithfully consisting of, decaf coffee, 3 oz., orange juice, 2 egg whites (no salt or pepper, cooked on a non-fat pan) and eat the egg whites with 2 freshly scraped carrots and ½ of a small avocado. Based on information she had recently obtained from a television commercial, she had tried to complement the same with eating a jellyfish, which the speaker in the commercial stated, was salubrious for brain health, but had great difficulty chewing and swallowing the gelatinous item; and so, was disappointedly forced to substitute two large stems of fresh broccoli for the highly touted, but uneatable, rubbery sea creature.

Her daily outfit traditionally consisted of “sensible,” low heeled shoes, organic, white cotton stockings, sanitized, white undergarments and a neat dress of plain, unidentifiable color (bright color attracts insects, was her wise and practical rationale.)

Fern’s usual place on the City bus in commuting to her place of employment, was the seat in closest proximity to the buses’ “Emergency Exit.” If unavailable, she would simply wait for a succeeding bus; comfortable in the proud assurance that, being self-employed, there was no potential for discipline.

Fern’s small, but immaculate, office was, fortuitously, located just directly across the two-way street in front of the Emergency Department, of the local Municipal Hospital, and only, 4 short blocks north of the local Cemetery; which geographic venue was useful for giving directions to unfamiliar clients.

Her actuarial labors, were by their intrinsic nature, performed at her desk, which contained the usual complement of pens, analysis pads, books of longevity tables, plus an excellent computer, programmed with mandatorily required, statistical information, mortality tables and the latest theoretical projections and formulae on the subject of the human life span. It need be emphasized, that consistent with her persona, and in an abundance of caution, every item was regularly wiped down with sanitary, antiseptic towels, including the doorknobs (re-done, following each exit and entrance, file cabinets, telephone equipment, books, reference tables, the computer, and writing and other desk implements.

For health and safety’s sake she always took (her home made) lunch at her desk. In those rare instances, when she was unavoidably obliged to meet a client out at a restaurant for lunch, she always ordered a salad, but not before closely interrogating the waiter or manager, concerning the restaurant’s procedure for washing vegetables, most especially, lettuce.

Witnesses, who were present at her funeral, which took place last week, at the Cemetery, located four blocks from her small, but immaculate and germ free- office, and across the two-way Street from the Emergency Department of the Municipal Hospital, uniformly agreed that the fatality, unfortunately, resulting from being struck by the speeding ambulance, was unquestionably, an unfortunate accident.

-p.

Post #352      RELIANCE 

For a considerable time, we had been comfortably abiding by an earlier resolve, not to post on the subject of Donald Trump. The media has been regularly saturating the public with that unpleasant subject, to the exclusion of available time for more deserving subjects, such as climate change, Puerto Rico’s storm damage, the opioids epidemic, African elections, nuclear disarmament, and other significant matters. Moreover, we wished to refrain from giving any further, albeit modest, publicity to our attention- hungry, adolescent President. The final reason was the existence of an unlimited number of potential topics, which we deemed to be of preferential interest to our readers. We, like a great many others, have been engaged in privately attempting to put aside this anomaly, viz., the embarrassing existence of an incompetent, ignorant and dishonest, American head of State, and instead concentrating on the anticipation of a future return to reliable normalcy, for our Country.

However, notwithstanding such ardent resolve, we, involuntarily, have been struck with the disturbing and profound realization that, in addition to his numerous transgressions against prevailing societal morality and ethics, Trump’s selfish, profitable, violations of the emoluments clause, his traitorous liaisons with Russia and other past foes of the U.S., his sub-rosa encouragement of bigotry, including, sexual abuse, his destruction of  a useful Agreement with Iran, deemed necessary to promote lasting peace and meaningful nuclear control, his attacks against our historic partner in peace, NATO, his refusal to enter into the climate- oriented Tokyo Accords, his irrational and his unjust domestic policies, in areas such as taxes, education and entitlements, there is, nevertheless, a far worse and damaging  transgression; far worse and damaging, since it amounts to a crime against “civilization,” itself, and unbelievably, to the ultimate human, anthropological progress. The sudden realization of this frightening and profound danger is the unhappy, motivational impetus, for this pointed writing.

Our Nation has admittedly, has had, (mercifully), rare and unfortunate experiences, in its history, of undesirable, even dishonest, heads of State, inclusive of the extremely unusual, Constitutional Process of Presidential Impeachment.  Yet, our systemic strength and dedication has eternally permitted us, to overcome such negative events as: “The Reconstruction Period,” the “Teapot Dome Scandal” and a Three-ring Circus, produced and directed by Ringmaster, Richard M. Nixon, popularly known as “Watergate.”

Trump’s perverse infliction of such impactful, unprecedented, injury was, and is, more pronounced, damaging, and indeed, far more profound than” merely” offending against the proscriptions of our American way of life (as did the previously cited, wrongdoing Presidents). From any informed, anthropological and societal prospective, he has committed, and regularly continues to commit, serious transgressions against the basic foundation of Society, itself, by his consistent, public mendacity and his regular and dedicated populist attacks on the principled existence, and fundamental faith, in objective “Truth,” (especially inclusive of journalism) as well as elsewhere. As such, we fear that he has (quite remarkably), accomplished what may amount to a virtually serious set- back in the previously continuous march to the attainment of man’s best societal potential.

The fundamental existence and continuance of any society, is by necessity, based on mutually shared,  absolute reliance on truthful personal interaction. The element of communicated veracity, is the singularly effective and necessary (communicational) bloodstream, circulating throughout the systemic organism of societal community life, making existentially possible, the mutual functioning of a human society. From the Stone Age, to the present, the urgent need for reliance upon the assumed truth of all messaging and communication, has always been of existential importance. In in man’s early societies, reports and messaging were, no doubt, primarily, regarding safety, food and danger; in today’s more complex society, the need for more expanded, complex and sophisticated (truthful) communication is no less than absolute. Trump’s self-assigned, defensive program of personally selected determination of “fake news,” from legitimate newspaper reporting, and his regular, observable, daily mendacity are no less than realistic, existential threats, not only to our Nation, but, ultimately hazardous to civilization, itself.

Historians, predictably, will offer absolutely no kudos nor legal or moral pardons, for President Donald J. Trump.

-p.

Post # 351  THE STRANGE CHEMISTRY OF SIMILAR WORDS

It does not require an advanced degree in chemistry to confidently assert that oil and water do not mix. Said non-miscible potential is so well known and universally established that, its empirical veracity is metaphorically, utilized in conversation and writing. As an illustration, in order to signify the predictable incompatibility of two people it might be said,” their marriage would be akin to the combining of oil and water.”

We have recently discovered an admittedly bizarre literary (or chemical) phenomenon, to the effect that there exist words, albeit, similar in general meaning, and regularly employed in the daily American-British lexicon, which cannot be expressed in the same communication, since they are effectively, as incompatible as the liquid substances, oil and water. To bravely and clearly restate our unusual declaration, despite the evident fact, that two words may convey, similar general meanings, (in this note, they both connote, physical and temporal boundaries) the mutual employment of such words, in a coherent writing, would be totally, and rationally incompatible. These two similar, but chemically, immiscible words are, “threshold” and “boundary.”

The noun, “threshold”, traditionally, is understood to mean, “border” or, “entrance,” perhaps, to a house, or the interior of a room, or, even possibly, to designate the beginning or ending point of a landed Estate. By its nature it is functionally, an expectant word, i.e., describing a point, immediately prior to an advancement into a room or house, or from the specific limit, constituting the exact point of departure, from the room, or domain.

It is also a word which is secondarily, but, quite frequently, used to describe a new step in the advancement of knowledge and enlightenment; reporting the appearance of a predictable and imminent, precursor to a new discovery, or the final accomplishment of a solution to a challenging scientific problem. Hopefully, in the very near future, we will progress to the threshold access of a better understanding of deep space. “Threshold” is a word often describing the initial entry point to a newly, uncovered truth; or, on a personal level, to significantly attained progress toward self- fulfillment. Essentially and universally, the word, “threshold,” inexorably, and purposefully, identifies the locus of an imminently expected, forward movement, inclusive of, along the path of knowledge, development or personal success.

Our presenting, comparative word, “boundary,” or boundaries, is normally understood; and functionally employed, to refer to temporal limits, (similar to “threshold”) and to fixed and accepted lines of demarcation in reference to a physical area, or the accepted designated limit of temporal or geographical space. But, to our note’s operative point, it is also employed, to determinatively indicate, the accepted limit of understanding, as well as the accepted determination of a stagnant and developmental status quo. The word imparts, no other secondary meanings, and, significantly, promises no possible expectation or hope, to any degree, regarding improvement, change or progress; in fact, its secondary meaning and function apparently appears to articulate an implied discouragement, perhaps, even a firm direction, to desist from attempts to go further.  (The boundaries of…) Rather than the fortuitous opportunity for progress or forward movement, like “threshold, the word, “boundary” stops, “dead in its tracks.”

It is thus rationally demonstrable, that the word, “threshold,” signifying forward looking and courageous, does not, at all combine or mix, with the similar word “boundary,” its stultifying synonym.

We cannot resist the inclination to observe, that there are useful and productive members of society, who, creditably, strive for new thresholds of personal understanding and self-fulfillment, and (too) many others, who have surrounded themselves with self-imposed, artificial boundaries, predictably and ultimately, resulting in a limited and unfulfilled life and, quite possibly, much unattained potential for enrichment and the joy of living.

-p.

Post # 350  RUMINATIONS ON MORTALITY

Over the decades, we have been perennial recipients of a College Bulletin from our Alma Mater. As a general rule, upon receipt, we would quickly flip through the pages of the shiny lithography, quickly noting the contemporary photos of the Campus, and briefly scanning the notices of recent alumni achievements in the arts and the business world; and then, within a total of approximately ten minutes, discard the publication.

The other day, we received our current copy of the annual publication, and, consistent with our past protocol, we flipped quickly through the pages, viewed the photographs and briefly noted the laudatory articles. But then, suddenly, and remarkably, as if motivated by some kind of mandated subliminal suggestion, and for the very first time, we chose to examine the extensive listing of deceased alumni, arranged by years of graduation, which we had always ignored.

Generally speaking, we have never been complete strangers, to the inevitable fact of universal human mortality; albeit, admittedly, we have expended very little time in its contemplation. Indeed, it is somewhat conceivable that, confessing in retrospect, we may have been intentionally and defensively avoiding the anticipated discomfort and fear, associated with the subject.

Returning to the subject of our described experience, we are totally unaware of the etiology of that sudden impulse, (viz.,) to visit (for the first time) the annually published (extensive) list of deceased alumni, ordinarily by-passed by us. In so doing (perhaps, as feared) we, unhappily, discovered, among said list, the familiar names of two deceased alumni. We experienced an internal “check,” or should we  say, “shock,” at such recognition. For an instant, we were sadly and wistfully, caused to, imagine vague, snapshot-like images of the remembered personalities.

But, then, suddenly and unexplainably, during the course of this melancholy recollection, a sudden eclat-like epiphany of alien thought, somehow, amazingly and energetically arrived, dispelling our sad ruminations, and leading to the foregoing realizations; offering, to us, the choice of an alternate, and perhaps, a more mature and less painful perspective.

We came to the realization that mankind was fortunately awarded a full cornucopia of valuable gifts from a generous evolution; among which is the ability to walk erect, to perform required tasks, by reason of an opposable thumb, to employ, as desired, the broad array of human senses, and to experience a body whose systemic function is no short of a marvel; but far above all that evolution thus generously gave to man, was the advanced brain. It is this brain potential which enabled homo sapiens to enter upon a course of development, becoming the marvel of the natural world. We recognized that sentient mankind has, for eons, been manifestly progressing along a path of advancement and enhancement, so that, to date, it has accomplished a great many miraculous feats, including the understanding of himself, the curing of many serious diseases, traveling to the moon, and soon, perhaps, further out in space.

We now came, at last, to finally appreciate and recognize, that such advanced brain has, however, an eternal, but arguably fair, price namely, the capacity of man to be aware of its own mortality.  We came to understood that those, who utilize the marvelous franchise of life, in the advancement of their knowledge and perspective, and successfully attain the precious goal of self-fulfillment, will also have developed the wisdom of gratitude for the opportunity. We also realized, after all this time, that wisdom would, emphatically, prescribe a grateful emphasis on lifetime self- fulfillment, and not useless and desolate, preoccupation with mortality.

After some more thought and further rumination, we earnestly resolved, to read next year’s College Bulletin, inclusive of the” In Memoriam” section, slowly, deliberately, and with new and better perspective.

-p.

Post # 349 THE COOLER SIDE OF THE PILLOW 2 (an editorial)

It appears to be the common practice, that most of us, when settling in for a night’s sleep, will ritually, and unpremeditatedly, reverse the pillow to its other (“cooler”) side, in anticipation of maximum comfort. This virtually, subliminal behavior, will most likely be replicated during the course of sleep for the same reason. Such behavior bordering on “instinctive,” is completely unremarkable in itself; but does serve as an exceptionally useful metaphor regarding human behavior and persona.

The general proposition, that it is normative for man to seek to promote his personal comfort, and to avoid experiences of stress and discord, requires no great aptitude for debate. Consequently, man’s willingness, or his refusal, to sacrifice his personal comfort and peace, for causes, or principles, recognized by him to be significant, is an important indicator of his worth, and persona.

The declaration, that we live in very stressful and greatly disturbing times, has become accurate enough, to now be designated as “trite.” The concerned citizen is confronted with: a less than capable, publicly dishonorable, President, happily orchestrating a largely populist- oriented, tribal citizenry, the official derogation of the free press, as well as literacy and education, the not-so- subtle encouragement of bigotry, wide disparities between the relatively few, who own and possess most of the nation’s wealth, and the much greater balance of the population, some of whom are too impoverished to subsist, a fascistic immigration policy, the official refusal to acknowledge the scientifically proven dangers of  climate change, perverse and demonstrable criminality within the White House, itself, and a National leader who chooses to ignore civil liberties, and treasonably, befriends despotic enemies of the United States.

Recent history has empirically proven that the most valuable resource of a nation, is not its coal, oil and mineral resources, nor its agriculture, industry, treasury, nor its particular geography; it is unquestionably, its people. In the 1930’s, the relatively small European country of Germany, remarkably, came very close to conquering the entire world. The undeniable reason was the presence of a most valuable resource, its people. The German people were, generally, literate and educated, and, most importantly, mobilize-able. As a consequence, German ambitions in support of its false Nazi propaganda, and its goal, to conquer the entire world was, frightening to say, almost successful.

Political philosophers have uniformly declared that the “governed” are always more powerful than the governors. Rousseau, early on (among many others) declared that legitimate power to govern, comes from the people (viz., not a King). In America, it is the citizen-voter, properly informed and motivated, that has the franchise, power and capability, if not the moral duty, to now bring about necessary reform and return our Nation, to the admirable track it was historically travelling, prior to the retrograde events, following the election of President Trump.

The much needed change is analogous or metaphoric, to turning over our pillow, to the more comfortable, “cooler side”, albeit, a far more serious, rationally directed and cooperative enterprise.  Neither thoughtless, unpremeditated, nor subliminal behavior will suffice in the moral task of reversing the uncomfortably current, shameful and retrogressive state of affairs; and flipping it over to the Democratic Republic of our origins, and its former commendable condition.

It will require no less than the dedicated, open eyed, and serious participation of all well informed American citizens, in: freely expressing their disapproval of ongoing governmental policy, which they perceive as unfair, unjust, illegal or bigoted, in advocating for non-interference with the right to vote, in educating the ill-informed, in peacefully assembling, when possible, and in a peacefully appropriate manner, to publicly seek reform of the American justice system, the rights of minorities,  in publicly championing the rights of the poor and disabled, in seeking gender equity, in petitioning voters to cast their votes in favor of policies of rectitude regarding taxes, criminal justice, on climate change; and against privileged and unequal treatment, favoritism, gun violence, denial of human and civil rights, including the denial of privacy of a women’s person, and including the elimination of roadblocks, to the the nation’s historic invitation to immigrants, seeking a better life, as symbolized by our Statue of Liberty.

Significant private acts would include, above all, voting and the support of voting rights; also, when appropriate, acts of demonstrated brotherhood, like choosing not to quietly ignore ethnic or gay jokes; not frequenting business establishments with proven polices of public or sub-rosa discrimination; in championing aid for the sick, and for disabled veterans; consistently reacting publicly, but peacefully, to evident acts of discrimination.

We can, indeed, if we choose, restore our Nation, but it will take far more work and dedication, than fluffing up our favorite pillow for a comfortable night’s sleep.

-p.