To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

New Observercast

Is American Democracy In Trouble?

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BY BOB D. ROUNSAVELL

We humans are in a bit of a funk. Although there’s excitement generating innovations in the world of technology, two basic problems could spoil the future.

The basic problem that threatens our planet is global warming/climate change. Close behind is America’s forsaking its obligation to lead the world in saving our mother earth from its ravages – in fact abandoning the rest in working for solutions.

Have we Americans truly lost our way? Are we no longer able to summon up the desire to talk with one another and create laws in partnership between our two political parties?

The essence of our democracy is threatened by the lack of strong leadership. Our president continues to lead by shooting from the hip and his aim is awful. Our two political parties offer very little encouragement when it comes to creating an environment that supports solutions brought about through negotiations. On most days, Democrats and Republicans seem content only on passing their partisan version of legislation rather than producing a strongly debated and negotiated document expressing the highest ideals of our diverse population.

Let’s think about that. Our system has worked over the years with our two political parties working together in order to create legislation that is in the best interests of both sides and the nation. A democracy only works when there is the will to provide a solution. Once the decision is made to craft a workable plan, only then will politicians solve problems that will serve the needs of most of us.

The first 10 amendments to our Constitution were ratified on Dec. 15, 1791. Fondly known as the Bill of Rights, the first two are most important in understanding how the Constitution has worked over our history to make America the world’s greatest country, one where millions of people come to fulfill the human aspiration for freedom: Freedom of religion, free speech, a free press and the right to petition government for redress of grievances.

On our TV screens these last few weeks we witness the latest group from Central America that are following those from Germany, China, Scandinavia, Ireland, Italy, Russia, France, Spain, the Middle East, the Philippines, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. The Native Americans, including Mexicans, were here before all of them.

When one takes a look at the Bill of Rights, it’s easy to understand why so many people from all over the world want to live here. America is admired for its ability to continually offer immigrants sanctuary from oppression of their rulers and provide citizens fundamental rights to pursue their dreams.

America is at a crossroads concerning basic human rights. Our fearless but confused leader, President Trump, is creating doubt in millions of us as he bans some groups, fearing they may endanger society.

On a Saturday, Oct. 27, 11 people in their place of worship were killed and several more wounded when a known Jew hater walked in and committed America’s largest mass murder of Jewish people. Rushing in to stop the shooting and help people, two policemen were among those wounded.

Religion is one of society’s most important and sacred institutions, granted the right to exist, protected by the First Amendment. This is only one of several church shooting events in recent times. Our worship hours may no longer be any safer than any other hour.

When people are prevented from worshipping, from speaking freely, or freedom of the press is no longer allowed and deemed a threat, then we all should realize that we are in trouble. When people no longer have the right to peaceably assemble or to petition our government for a redress of grievances, then bet your almighty dollar we are neck deep in mud. Democracy is in trouble.

Last Nov. 6, America cracked open the door of opportunity when Democrats regained the majority in the House of Representatives. The question now before us: Can the majority Democrats enlist the aid of enough Republicans to restore a working democracy?

With climate change now threatening us on a daily basis, there is precious little time remaining to restore our environment to a healthy condition capable of supporting human life, in fact all life.

In 2020 let’s replace The Donald, and demand that Democrats and Republicans resume a healthy working relationship and restore a working democracy. A democracy that will regain the world’s confidence and ensure humankind its continued existence.

The task ahead will be difficult and will require input from all and from each of us. We must learn to trust each other again, maybe even talk across the circles we’ve isolated ourselves in.

Let’s begin with a wonderful Christmas season, then an even better New Year. Peace prevails and all enjoy it fully.

Oologah resident Bob D. Rounsavell is president of the Carrie Dickerson Foundation. His wife, Paz Maria Rounsavell, serves as his editor.