It’s easier to destroy than to build.
This is what is happening with our democracy right now.
Our nation is affected by a growing infestation of termites that is gradually chewing its way through our institutional and social walls.
And like with termites, there is no plan to build a new house or a new nation. They’re just trying to turn the one we live in into a pile of sawdust.
This is especially true for fringe groups of angry, often armed extremists who crow loudly and want a revolution.
But they have absolutely nothing to say about what might come next, should they succeed in tearing down more than two centuries of American culture, growth, and gradual social advancement.
Government perhaps dictated by the barrel of a gun?
It is certainly true that many Americans are quite angry about many things. With good reason. But the way termites solve problems is not the way to a safer, more prosperous nation for all humans.
The way forward is to fix bugs and rebuild. If that includes putting in more electoral safeguards to ease some people’s anxiety, let’s look. There are already many established and effective mechanisms for election surveillance. However, if necessary, they can be retriggered to allay concerns.
And any re-triggering can be achieved with certainty without rioting, shooting weapons, attacking the police, breaking windows, or stealing members of Congress’s mail.
Personally, I am upset by high property taxes, sales tax increases, rising health care costs, why I haven’t received my COVID-19 vaccination yet, and the appalling arrogance of Seneca Meadows’ plan to ignore city-passed Seneca Falls laws.
This is just my short list.
However, I believe that through the democratic process, rational discussions – and possibly the courts – we can iron things out.
Sensible people can come up with sensible solutions.
And as a nation we have so much to do, much of it left over from the last administration.
Donald Trump did his best to resolve what he believed to be the most pressing immigration problems. But its draconian solutions – like separating very young children from their parents – were not seen as sensible by the majority of Americans. It also made no sense to put children in cages or deny them basic hygiene products such as toothbrushes or soap.
Can we ever forget when the now ex-president declared, “It’s going to go away. One day – it’s like a miracle – it will go away. “
The virus is still with us and growing in strength. Over 400,000 people have died from it in the United States
In the finger lakes a decade ago, activists organized to stop a clear and present threat to the environment, the economy and the people in the region.
That danger arose from the ill-conceived plan by Crestwood Midstream of Texas to store millions of gallons of liquid propane in unlined salt caverns on the west bank of Seneca Lake.
The activist opponents did not try to tear anything down. They worked to protect Lake Seneca and the health of local residents, and to ensure that tourism and its proven economic benefits to the area were not compromised.
History, science, and business have proven they were right in every way. Crestwood finally gave up.
In a decade of this protest political process, the only weapons involved belonged to the police, who arrested peaceful protesters for abuse.
Not a single podium was stolen, windows broken, or correspondence from government offices looted. This is how things should be done in a democracy.
It’s hard work. But no termites are required.