These are tumultuous times in America.
(Immediately, I am reminded of a series of television advertisements and the catch-phrase response to the main character who frequently exhibits an ability to declare, seemingly oblivious to how annoying it and he is, the most self-evident facts, “Thanks, Captain Obvious!”)
Now, it seems to me to be equally apparent that each and every past historical age had its share of turbulence. Nevertheless, one only can live in one’s own age. And, as I cast a wary and weary eye o’er the American landscape, again, I say, these are tumultuous times in which the fabric of the nation – political, social, racial – has and is unraveled.
Politically, if (or so I believe) a legitimate, that is, authorized government is, in part, required to have the support or consent of the governed, then how secure is that bequeathed authority when the governed, the people, are divided (and, so, too, the governors, that is, the elected officials) in their loyalties and driven by ever-competing and oft-conflicting aims?
In my view, it isn’t.
Socially, if (or so I believe) a nation, in part, can be characterized as a body of people sharing a geographical territory who engage in ongoing interaction, governed by a standardized set of laws and guided by commonly accepted norms of behavior, then how stable is our society when olden notions of dominant and subordinate groups and norms of societal stratification are being overturned by what has been termed “the browning of America”?
In my view, it isn’t.
Racially, if (or so I believe) comity, that is, common courtesy and consideration in regard to the observance of equal rights and the offering of uniform privileges, is a necessary element of political and social tranquility, then, throughout American history when and where such mutual recognition never has existed, how serene can the interactions be between and among the manifold cultural and ethnic groups that, from the beginning, in toto, have constituted the American people?
In my view, they can’t.
If (or so I believe) the political, social, and racial tumult of America is obvious, then the remedy is – and the resolutions are – not.