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Rise above left and right extremes
Public Forum.jpg

To the editor: 

Trump has reduced himself as a human being to a depth that I can imagine resulting in a double-down, coast-to-coast rebel yell of “Make Trump Great Again!” Forget Americans. I can imagine him conspiring to pressure his beloved cult members, with his trademark smirk and head tilt, to just make “him” great again. Then, no doubt about it, “he” will make America great again. Trumpworld, Inc. will thrive and all the unfortunates struggling to live with economic dignity will, in actual fact, continue to struggle, dignity be damned by corporate overlords like Trump himself.

One term of this catastrophic presidency is enough. If we can’t learn from American history of the past, let us at least endeavor to learn from the history – after fact, fiction and propaganda are sorted out – of the present. Presently, we are being slapped silly and stupid and are becoming more and more hateful and violent.

Let me first emphasize, though, that only a minority of Americans have lapsed into such moral depravity. Rise above the extremes of the left-wing Antifa et al. Rise above the extremes of the right-wing Proud Boys et al. Discover new ways of communicating, both face-to-face and with our sundry “smart” devices. If we don’t step up with attempts at more enlightened language, we might not stem the tide of a Second Civil War, a war that could possibly make the first one seem pale by comparison.

Violent protest is not the key.

Nonviolent protest is key, but with passionate and intelligent voices leading the way and requiring the humility of more and more people listening to them.

And the goal? Not just one. For a start, we need to narrow the Not-So-Great Divide between the rich and poor. Socialism is not the rabid monster lurking in a corner; mega-massive, conscience-depleted and greed-ridden capitalism is the grotesque monster we should slay.

This green-backed creature is devouring too many of us, reducing us to an unhealthy mixed breed of consumers, gamblers and salivating, celebrity-obsessed individuals. As a consequence, we devalue ourselves.

We need to come to the realization that we are all precious. We need to have an epiphany that this is a truth of truths until the extremes of left and right politicians finally slow down their partisan agendas, which have befuddled too many of us for too long. Their corporate-sponsored political junk food flies in the face of democracy and in the face of us who think there must be more to living in this grand spectacle called America.

Can we not transcend our obsession with “bread and circuses” and the hyperactive war machine that enslaves us, ad infinitum, ad nauseum? 

Most importantly, it’s time to make Americans, the people, great again. We can do this by a rarefied combination of realism and idealism, tolerance and love, rebuilt ethical foundations, a dignified economic system and caring for one’s neighbor next door and beyond city limits. 

Despite everything sad, bad and mad going on in this country, I’m still a hopeful dreamer. Let the words, “we the people,” mean much more than in the past. Let us declare our interdependence, arms interlocked, hearts and minds committed to a transformed America. Let’s hold our elected officials, top to bottom, more accountable to us, not left-to-right corporate elites and their delusional militant minions, who think they’re steering the Ship of State on the right course. Let’s be what we’re capable of being – a real, ideal America of unity and higher purpose.

Is it not the right time, right place, right people?

Richard Joel Holmes