Righting America’s ‘Ship of State’ on a turbulent sea

‘’The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature by the hand of the divinity itself and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.’’ — Alexander Hamilton

The Republican Presidential Nominee claims privilege: He is “rich.” He is a “star.” He suggests clearly and dangerously, that he is to be exempt from respecting the conventions of decency and the rule of law which forbids aggressive behavior to another’s person. He appears to believe that because of his wealth and celebrity he will not be prosecuted. “When you’re a star,” he notes (in 2005, at 59 years of age) on assignment with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush): “You can do anything.”

Whether he regularly practices the aggressive behaviors he mentions — that also happen to constitute unlawful sexual assault in a plurality of jurisdictions in the United States — pr were they to have been intended merely as boastful lies, the ‘whole truth’ is that he exhibits an inordinate number of symptoms that demonstrate a lack of understanding and a lack of empathy.; and that he is exceedingly arrogant — rather than “audacious” — and very likely is in immediate need of professional help.

Most people of goodwill are extremely disappointed in the nature of an electoral process that has given rise to a kind of “mob rule,” which values snap judgements rather than clear and deliberate reasoning. The founders of this republic were careful to try to avoid this — because the very prospect of self-government carries with it certain responsibilities as well as the liberties that it guarantees.

Among the most basic of responsibilities is the duty to have close scrutiny of the facts, as distinct from ‘impressions,’ especially those ‘impressions’ that are intentionally ungrounded and are meant to deceive. They spring from “news” sources that are knowingly false, and range from opinions based on inadequate or insufficient information to those that are ‘made from thin air.’.

The bell can not be unrung at this point. and it’s clear that a great many individuals have been harmed. There are some who have enjoyed the cowardly role of “the bully” who now have been held up as role models for our young adults— both boys and girls — who are impressionable.

It is incomprehensible that the owners and administrators — including both producers, editors and journalists — now have such a narrow commercial objective that there is a need to editorialize “all the news,” whether or not it is either “newsworthy” or “fit” to televise or to print.

The consequence of a 24-hour news cycle and ubiquitous social media, and the stunning increase in violent films and video games over the past three decades which grows more and more base and vile, and an unending thirst for all that is vulgar and profane. These ‘industries’ are especially deserving to be appropriately held to account for the current trend to disregard ordinary standards of decency in the “public square” that has led to such overwhelmingly coarse and aggressive behavior — whether by intention or through “carelessness” — or any other motivation, either venal or downright diabolical.

It is clear that there are those of us who are now even more sadly overburdened with frustration. and some — often emboldened under the influence of alcohol or other substances that allow an individual to act out in anger, or to speak or to act with hatred — who will be tempted to ‘act out’ in violence in the coming weeks or months following this Election.

A good deal of this frustration is nothing more than the result of “a thousand misunderstandings,“ and it will take an enormous amout of patience and compassion even begin to listen to one another with empathy, and to put oneself — even for the sake of discussion — in another’s shoes.

This measure of thoughtfulness would be a very effective way to begin to “right the ship.”

Our nation is in need of very imaginative “good intentions,” for one another, for the broad embodiement of our American values and for future generations — for my youngest grandson , just a few weeks of age now — and for all of America’s children and for all Mankind, as one nation under God, indivisible!