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December 13, 2016


Athenian democracy only lasted 169 years before the fights among the Greek city-states made them easy prey for advancing Roman legions, but not all such “legions” from without are necessary for the downfall of governments, whatever the form of such governments. Most governments fall from within, and we are no exception to the rule. All the great civilizations have fallen either from within or without or by their combination over time, and with our 240-year old democracy and given our present political environment it is indeed possible (with a little “without” help from Putin combined with the help of some “within” people such as Trump) that our time is either up or fast approaching.

To greedhogs such as Trump and the Kochs and Wall Street, of course, everything is for sale in their myopic world of greed and profit, including our democracy. Nothing is sacred in the world they have fashioned for themselves no matter how much blood was shed by patriots to achieve and defend our most precious asset, our democracy. In their world we are mere ATM machines, widgets subject to exploitation, and they are our bankers.

Given my above take on things, it may surprise readers to find that I do not blame the Republican Party for initiating this political race to the bottom and perhaps oblivion, though I do blame the party’s political leaders for allowing it to happen. I instead blame the libertarian nihilist element that has taken over the Republican Party of (at one time) ordinary conservatives, nihilists such as the Kochs, the Trumps, the Midases of Wall Street, and others who value profits over country, democracy or a fair sharing of the economy’s income with their workers.

When describing our potential loss of democracy and descent into failed state status, the idea that “It can’t happen here” is an illusion. History tells us that it will happen here since all great states have had a beginning and an end via war, assassination, revolution or corruption and the only question is when. Those of us who value democracy over the myopic gathering of the libertarian rich who worship money and power for its own sake have some serious work to do if we are to retain at least some semblance of a system of democratic values for the foreseeable future for us and those following us, starting with a sturdy resistance to Trump and his appointment of oligarchs and ideologues to govern us.

We have little choice but to resist since our democracy is at stake and if lost there is little reason to even have a country or without a common governing philosophy to even pretend that we have one. We will have fallen from within as victims of total corporate control and greed and a ruined America will be headed for the junk heap of history, a victim of our failure to resist those who favor profit over democracy.

However, we are not ATM machines; we are citizens and do indeed have the power to insure that democracy will prevail in our day and time, starting with the obvious – blunting the effects of those who would take our democracy from us – including the plainly necessary impeachment of Trump, the self-appointed libertarian bully who is oblivious to the wants and needs of America in pursuit of his own, and then go from there in boldly asserting our rights as a free people in a democratic society to the end that we preserve our democracy and enjoy its blessings for the foreseeable future as we follow Lincoln’s vision of a government “of, by and for the people” rather than one designed to serve only the rich and corporate class, so take your pick – Trump or Lincoln. Which vision best serves America and its people?

Nothing is more important to our lives and those who follow us than the preservation and revitalization of our democracy, so let’s get on with this noble effort with energy and determination.    GERALD     E



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