Following Russia’s explosion of its first atomic bomb (1949), America, under President Harry Truman, implemented certain programs, relative to the public’s protection in the event of a nuclear bombing. Readers of sufficient age may nostalgically, remember the randomly, transmitted, school alarms, responded to, by the teacher’s solemn cue to her previously, drilled students, to duck under their school desks for cover, (“duck and cover”). As we recall, the desktop was to serve as a shield from flying debris caused by the theoretical, bombing; however, it is inarguable, that in the event of an actual, nuclear bombing such compliant, protective action, would not be ultimate.
Among the contemporaneous, “external,” threats to the American Nation, would appear to be, pandemics, escalating climate crises, cyber and digital threats, and, conceivably, international economic disruption. Fortunately, however, no external threat, to our Nation presently exists, comparable to that of a terrifying, nuclear attack.
Kudos, are certainly, due, to the white-wigged, prescient and creative 19th Century, Founders of our Nation, for the sagacious, architectural design of their conceived, radically, experimental, Democratic Republic. Their foresight was posthumously, rewarded with a political structure, whose foundational integrity has successfully survived many major, external threats, including, two World Wars, as well as many, singular, internal challenges. Such internal challenges, historically, have included, no less than a Civil War, the subsequent, Reconstruction Period, a Great Depression, and, memorably, the rancorous and divisive, strife, attendant upon America’s conduct of the Viet Nam War.
It is disappointing and profoundly, troubling to be obliged to note, that, contemporaneously, our Nation and its democratic form of government, face, what appears to be, its historically, greatest existential peril, said dire threat posed by perilous, internal sources.
Thomas Jefferson’s admonition, often quoted by us, that, for a democracy to be successful, it is necessary to have an educated and well-informed citizenry, has proven to be as prescient as it was wise. The contemporary, Nation, unfortunately, evinces a large number of, useless, inadequately, educated and poorly, informed citizens, which negative condition, per se, poses a life and death challenge to the continuance of a democratic republic (one, “by and for the people”). Further, it appears that such vast hordes of misguided and inadequately, schooled citizens evince a general discontent with their lives, which, by the defensive dynamics of subjective projection, maintain angry anti-government (program) sentiments, and bigoted delusions.
Said population is perforce, vulnerable to tactically, false, “pie-in-the-sky,” populist, dogma. Recent history recounts the unfortunate events in which the foolhardy and perverse, authoritarian-populist, inclination of the Nation’s said, “underbelly,” was demagogically, catalyzed, and invigorated, by our failed, aberrant, and despicable, past President, Donald J. Trump; with whose, reductive ignorance, demonstrated bias, and autocratic, repudiation of “truth,” they could, effortlessly, identify. A potentially, disastrous peril to democracy, was created by the consequent, conglomerate-like fusing together of the heterogeneous and amorphous, denizens of the Nation’s malcontented underbelly. Unfortunately, the latter class consists of a sufficiently, large number of voters to intimidate many elected legislators and officials, whose political ambitions seem to outweigh their constitutional oath of office. Like hapless lemmings, the latter support Trump and his cultish sycophants, rather than act on behalf of their constituency and the Nation.
The foundational American promises of justice and truth, have been denigrated by Trump and his “MAGA,” “supporters, and replaced, by them, with bigoted ideations and subjectively, preferable, (Trump –style) “alternate facts.” A new, freakish and subjectively, malleable “truth,” flexibly, and tactically, suitable for undemocratic and, autocratic, memes, was thus, Presidentially, enfranchised, resulting in an unproductive, factual morass and a fertile source of inane and delusional, conspiratorial, ( ethnic and political) ideations.
The latter, anti-intellectual, anti-government, horde, or population, are, in addition, tactically, encouraged and financially supported, by better informed, but irresponsibly overriding, financial interests, whose sociopathic preference for profits, far outweigh any concern for the health of humankind, by the salutary government regulation of air pollution, opposed by the anti-government populist.
As known, Trump’s resounding and unsurprising, loss, in his attempt at election, for a second, ( another disastrously, incapable) term, as President, was, neurotically, denied by him, and responded to, in true autocratic fashion, by his classic reprise of the stereotypic, autocratic, “Big Lie,” viz., the tactically false, denial of the validity of the election, (albeit, certified as valid, by all official audit agencies); with which deceit, Trump’s, newly congealed, cult of ignorant, underbelly, supporters, and those others, whose financial or political interests were benefited, thereby, were, and continue to be, in congruence.
The historical aspiration and efforts toward universal, egalitarian and democratic unity of the Nation, have, accordingly, descended to an antagonistic stage, bizarrely, segregated between the Trump, sycophantic, “alternate facts,” cult, and mainstream Americans, who continue to support the determinative nature of the democratic voting franchise and are accepting of empirical and demonstrative truth. Their oppositional, right-wing cults, have, also included various military-style Christian White Supremacy organizations whose character, motivation, and aspirations, vary from the Hitler Brown Shirts, only by the color of their official uniform. These fascistic organizations and their misled, acolytes, have aspired, by sundry, illegal and unconstitutional means, to literally, deconstruct American democracy.
The Nation, on January 6, 2022, was shocked and aghast, at the occurrence of a violent and lethal insurrection, against the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., initiated and encouraged by President Trump, himself, seeking reversal of the election, and the delivery of the Presidency, unjustly, to the neurotic, autocratic loser. The violent, unprecedented event was led by such American Nazi militias, as the “Proud Boys”, and the “Oath Keepers,” and seditiously and violently participated in, by many hundreds of right-wing “patriots,” in a populist-authoritarian attempt to reverse the valid outcome of the Presidential election and thereby, deconstruct democracy. Happily, the Insurrection failed, despite regrettable mortalities incurred by Capital Police and others, in the failed insurrection. The matter is presently, in the prosecutorial hands of the U.S. Justice Department.
Many other anti-democratic, phenomena have, concomitantly, been put in play, by politicians, and legislators, irresponsibly and self-interestedly, pandering to the large horde of populist authoritarian voters, the latter including, voter suppression, gerrymandering, antagonism to intellectualism, undemocratic book banning and censorship, curriculum banning, such as CRT and cultural bias. The ever-increasing number of tragic gun incidents, the politicization of SCOTUS, growth of unconstitutional and improper religious influence, notably, the overturn of a half-century of legalization of abortion, increase in anti-Semitism and bigotry in general, opposition to refugee immigration, opposition to the established government assistance, comprise existential threats to the acceptable, American way of life.
Mainstream America is alarmed, but armed, solely, with considered voting, and occasional opportunities to write or speak in the interest of democracy. We urgently, need some more, albeit, ultimately, effective “duck and cover.”