A Civic Life
In the last 60 days America lost two heroes of democracy, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Congressman John Lewis. What is revealing of the state America currently is in is that Lewis’s and Ginsburg’s legacies are publicly circumscribed by WHO they were rather than WHAT they did for democracy. Despite the narrow popular interpretation of their careers, both endured deep personal challenges and persevered to sustain promise of a “better tomorrow” for ALL — including whites (John Lewis) and men (Ruth Bader Ginsburg).
As fractured as we may be at this point in time it is a luxury to avoid helping ALL because a FEW might suffer.
“Democracy,” meaning governance by, of and for “the people” is not so much in decline as averse to current social and popular values. Perhaps we are demonstrating a bit much these days an unwillingness to get past our relatively new found abundance.
And perhaps we are reluctantly facing off that for at least four hundred years of relative abundance we have been dancing on the backs of our “brethren/sistren.”
To not “rethink” our institutions, to abhor reform, to retreat from democratic governance, we deserve resulting chaos and social upheaval. Like the pandemic, social fracture and chaos have no ideological favorites, no genders, no skin colors.
September 18–21, 2020