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Camille Granito Mancuso: Chatterbox -- This moment, in the future

As much as we’d all like to take a permanent break from all things political, it’s the most dangerous thing one can do at a time like this. America is in the crosshairs.
Chatterbox has many times remembered that our nation, as it stands today, was built on the land of our indigenous people who were killed, or worse, and the survivors forced onto small sections of the nation they once ruled all of.
We’ve talked about our nation starting with many of the framers never intending it to be the land of the free. Freedom not only didn’t come to everyone upon its declaration – it didn’t come fully, even eventually, at its dearest cost.
Now, we are living with the nearly dystopian ruins of what once was, at least, a democracy in progress. It hurts to think about it that way, but whether we face it or defy it, here we are, fighting to keep what strides we had made. We fought a king. We fought skewed legislation. We fought wars at home, wars across the ocean, patriotic wars and wars for ingratiated entrepreneurs. Now, we fight long antiquated attitudes that stymie our own progress and we fight big money with small circles of profiteers.
These days are the most critical in American history since the Civil War in many ways. We’re not fighting not for the survival of a way of life propped up by profits from slavery. We’re not fighting the secession of a portion of our nation from the Union, but we’re fighting a domestic enemy threatening our struggle for true democracy. Our people are at war against each other and our leadership is divided against itself. Many in power not only aren’t working to unite us but are working against us, piloting for polarized privilege and a hierarchy of personal power.
No one expected this. No one wants it, but it’s here. It’s bitterly divisive and frightening, but harsh reality must be faced with courage. If America doesn’t fight to quickly return to normalcy ... and, sadly, a fight it will be ... there will be little or nothing left of the America we once knew to fight for.
This past July 30, we spoke about Hitler’s quote on how to take people’s freedom a little at a time. It’s the best way for any one person, group of people, or both, to dismantle something. There’s less to be noticed, justified or questioned. It’s a gentle poison. It’s what he did as he wormed his way into the German hierarchy and, under the guise of greatness for them, used fanaticism and distraction to create a frenzy. Then, claiming he was their only hope, he stole maniacal control for himself.
However quasi it may be, only sensible leadership will quell the American crisis created over the past few years, and a crisis it is. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are being evicted into the streets.
Violence, aggression and bigotry are displayed anywhere, anytime. Our nation’s people are dying from a plague. Many victims have no health care and during it all, our nation’s leadership adjourned. They had to be summoned back. Now, one whole state is in flames and several more await severe weather.
Through this, the national powers who should unify us, create a sensible rationale and effect a plausible plan, argue personal aspirations instead. Our president golfs, tweets, and bemoans suffering personal injustices. Yet, he ignores the paid assassination of the very people who protect the flag he theatrically embraces on camera.
Like most, I find these things hard to say. Most of us want to be as diplomatic as possible. We want to be kind and put our best foot forward, to give all our leadership the benefit of every doubt, but we all can see things deteriorating.
Much of this truth is ugly, but it won’t be mitigated and our nation won’t be saved by a leadership that’s, literally, out to lunch. America won’t be saved by a people who support leadership that turns its back on the very democracy it has sworn to uphold.
Yes, we’re all tired of hearing it and dealing with its fallout, but we’re also fractured from fighting for survival in a rigged system with too many leaders either in denial or focused on ascending.
It’ll only get worse if we don’t stand up, reach for and build on what America once was. It was far from perfect but we can’t improve on it with destroyed principles, and that’s where we’re at.

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