America Needs a Hero to Save Democracy

On the day after Independence Day, I should have written a nice feel-good blog post about America and patriotism and our wonderful country. Instead, I am consumed with dread. I fear that the America I have loved since I was a child is about to disappear.

While You Weren't Looking, Danger to Democracy, Republicans, GOPThe danger is so real, so imminent, and so awful that I simply can’t ignore it. It feels like watching a slow-motion catastrophe and being both powerless to stop it and unable to look away. I want a hero to show up and save our Democracy.

Thus, I break two of my own rules for my blog to talk about guns and politics.

Democracy in Play

We have fewer than 140 days until Election Day in November and our country’s freedom is in play. In fact, the physical safety of our citizens grows more dire every day.

  • A white man murders six people and wounds 26 at an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois, a wealthy town. The police capture him and take him alive.
  • A black man runs from the police who had stopped him for a traffic violation in Akron, Ohio. The police shoot him 60 times in the back. For a traffic violation.
  • Five radical, right-wing, activist justices on the Supreme Court overturn established precedent and begin imposing minority rule on the country. Four of them got on the court because they were nominated by presidents who lost the popular vote. In one fell swoop, they demolished a woman’s right to control her own body, the tribal sovereignty of American Indians, and the EPA’s ability to regulate emissions.
  • Justice Clarence Thomas is married to a woman who arguably took part in The Former Guy’s attempted coup and rejection of a peaceful transition of power.
  • Christian Nationalists ramp up their calls for a violent pursuit of dominion over every one to establish a theocracy.

The Plan for Minority Rule

I believe firmly that, when someone tells you who they are and what they plan to do, you should listen and believe them.

ballot box, waves, democracy in danger, hero, minority ruleIf you want to know what the Republicans and their minions in the Supreme Court will do next, you don’t have to look far. Author and talk-show host, Thom Hartmann laid it all out on his Twitter feed. I couldn’t sleep after reading it.

Or, if you prefer, you can read The Washington Post’s editorial on, “The Supreme Court’s next move might cripple our democracy.” Read them. Read every explanation you can find.

We Need a Hero

America badly needs a hero. We need someone who is not afraid to stand up to Republican dirty tricks, not afraid of what Fox News will say, not afraid of being called names. Above all, we need a hero who is not afraid of being vilified by the party of gun death, of pregnancy and delivery death, and of death by environmental catastrophe.

We don’t have one.

Instead, we have a wishy-washy party that is technically in power but acts like it’s the minority voting in futile opposition. We need strength but the Democrats give us weakness. They act like they have no power, no bully pulpit, and no ability to create their own message. America needs vison but instead gets a stubborn adherence to a bipartisanship that no longer exists.

Hero of Democracy, minority rule, Supreme Court, fear

The Only Thing We Have to Fear

Fear attracts the object of fear. The Democratic Party fears the right-wing opposition, They don’t want the Republicans to call them names, criticize them, and try to undo everything they accomplish. They think that making nice and acting bipartisan will work. It won’t.

By catering to them, deferring to them, and attempting to make nice with them, the Democrats will bring about exactly the scenario we fear. That’s permanent minority rule of America by a party that’s trying to rig the game because it can’t win on the strength of its policies.

the only thing we have to fear is fear itself, Franklin Roosevelt, fear attracts the object of fearThat explains why so many Democrats and Independents are frightened of what will happen next and furious at the lack of action. The party that should be leading the way is instead shrinking from the fight.

The time has come to stop “going high” when they go low. They always go low. It  seems there is no bottom to what the Republicans will do to achieve naked and unassailable power.

Do we have a hero in the house? Fewer than 140 days remain until Election Day. Tick tock.

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About Aline Kaplan

Aline Kaplan is a published author, a blogger, and a tour guide in Boston. She formerly had a career as a high-tech marketing and communications director. Aline writes and edits The Next Phase Blog, a social commentary blog that appears multiple times a week at aknextphase.com. She has published over 1,000 posts on a variety of subjects, from Boston history to science fiction movies, astronomical events to art museums. Under the name Aline Boucher Kaplan, she has had two science fiction novels (Khyren and World Spirits) published by Baen Books. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies published in the United States, Ireland, and Australia. Aline’s articles have also appeared on the Atlas Obscura website. She has been an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America since 1988 and is a long-term member of the Spacecrafts science/fantasy writers’ group. As a tour guide, Aline leads architectural and historical walking tours of the city for Boston By Foot, ghost tours for Haunted Boston and historical bus tours of the city. She lectures on Boston history and has appeared in the Boston Globe, as well as on TV for Chronicle, an award-winning television program that broadcasts stories of New England. As a lecturer, Aline has spoken at Brandeis and Tufts universities for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She has also addressed as service organizations and local meetings. She is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston and lives in Hudson, MA.

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