“The British Are Coming” and They Are Us

I know I spend too much time on Twitter and that my words may be little more than shouting in the wind.

But sometimes words echo down through the ages.  Not that I believe mine will.

Words have always been my own two-edged sword: my saving grace and my weapon.  “The pen is mightier than the sword” is a motto in which I deeply believe.

Words matter.  This is why so much time and attention is given to what a President says; for its tone, its intent, whether actions and words align.

So as much as Donald Trump may hate it, his words will continue to be parsed, examined, questioned and – yes – criticized.

It goes with the job of being President.  If Trump didn’t have such an “I alone can do it” mantra, there are four past Presidents alive today with whom he might commiserate.

Sometimes my words on Twitter are too impassioned.  But only because my passion for the salvation of my country has never been as urgent as it is now.

I fear for it as I did when I was a child. I remember pictures of the Cuban missile crisis being beamed over our black and white console TV, the Russian ships moving inexorably toward Cuba, the footprints of missile sites being shown, the intonation of Walter Cronkite’s words.

I was only seven, but that is old enough to comprehend when life as you know it might be forever altered.

Our country was in danger; that was all the knowledge I needed.

Today I feel much the same way as I watch TV footage of the shooting of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

It follows a week in which more than a dozen pipe bombs were mailed in an assassination attempt against top former Democratic officials, including two past Presidents, a VP, Secretary of State, Attorney General, sitting Congress people and an actor.

Right now, I would say I don’t recognize the country I live in, but I have seen this before: it is an amplified version of the Civil Rights, anti-Vietnam and Watergate eras at one in the same moment.

I know the amplification comes from having so much choice in cable channels and social media platforms.

But it also comes from an inability and an unwillingness of those governing this country to reach across the aisle and come up with real solutions for the problems that beleaguer us.

Perhaps with my Twitter feed and this blog, I am part of the amplification problem.  I don’t know.

Trust me, there are plenty of other things I would rather be doing than this. It is neither a peaceful nor stress-less way to spend one’s time. I would rather cuddle up, watch a movie and drink hot chocolate now that winter is nudging at the door.

But inside, I feel like I am one of many Paul Reveres spreading the warning that “The British are coming.”

The problem is, this time the British are us.

(Photo from srcalifornia.com on Pinterest)


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