In the wake of the inauguration of Joseph Biden as President of the United States, voices are already rising on both sides of the aisle. Some are saying "We're headed for Armaggedon"; others are saying "We finally avoided Armageddon". Leaving aside the issue of Meggido (Armageddon is a deformation of the Hebrew "Har Meggido"), I believe it is good to look inside ourselves and figure out what the new chapter in our American Democracy means.
First of all, it is clearly a new begginning as every new Administration is. Does that mean to throw away everything the prior Administration did? Some anti-Trump activists would say yes - I am not an anti Trump activist any more than I am a pro-Trump activist. I believe in being pro-Democracy and pro-USA. When I look at the change from that perspective, I find that some things do need to change...
We are living through difficult times - a global pandemic, a pandemic induced economic downturn, rising unemployment, widening of racial and political divides. But as Albert Einstein once said "In the midst of difficulty lies opportunity"
To solve the challenges facing our society, we will need to work together. We can use the opportunity to put aside irredentist positions and try to find common ground. This would go a long way towards starting to narrow those divides. Yet the divides will persist. Political divides are not only normal - they are expected. Honest differences of opinion are important to stimulate a civil debate on issues which affect us all. But maybe we can use the opportunity to tune down the rethoric and listen to the other side...
The racial divide is more complicated. It involves acknowledging historical inequities, and the inadequacy of what we, as a Nation, have done so far to level the field. Looking again at these issues require being honest with ourselves, and redefining some rules in our society which might be ignoring these realities.
The one divide we need to close completely is the divide in understanding the meaning of Democracy. As somebody who suffered the lack of it for a good part of my life - here are my main points:
- YES, democracy is the rule of the majority; BUT WITH RESPECT FOR THE RIGHTS AND OPINIONS OF THE MINORITIES.
- YES, democracy today implies equal opportunity for all; but we need to acknowledge this has not always been thus, and therefore we have some gaps to close to give everybody the same access to those opportunities.
- YES, democracy is the right of every individual to his/her own religious beliefs or lack thereoff.
- YES, democracy is the right of every individual to his/her choice of partner in life.
- YES, democracy is to foster a climate of mutual respect and civil discourse.
New pages can never be blank ones. Each page is defined by the pages that came before, but we can have a common vision, and strive for it - TOGETHER.
STAY SAFE- STAY HEALTHY - STAY CONNECTED.