Ramón Del Castillo, PhD
Let me preface my commentary by stating that a President of the United States has not yet been elected. Therefore, as columnists for weekly community newspapers, we have to use our creative abilities to shape perspectives that deal with ambiguity and the unknown as we meet deadlines.
The American Government has to resolve the inherent contradiction between the sacred value of the individual and his or her rights that are embedded into the structure of society and its contradiction to serve the entire community, often referred to as the Common Good. Finding the balance is difficult and challenging. In practice, there is a form of government run for and by the people and a government that is run for and by the party—demonstrating the challenges associated with any government. When values of the individual collide with values of the association, the result is chaos and disorganization. Finding the balance when a nation is unbalanced requires strong leadership, dialogue, and a willingness to engage with who we believe is our enemy. Communicating with them is equally challenging.
Let me introduce another form of government that has emerged, developed by our current president, now transformed into a triumvirate of governance structures—a government run for and by the person. When you have a leader who uses fear and intimidation, coupled with access to power, with a tendency to abuse it, you have a tyrant. For the last four years, President Donald Trump has turned the Constitution upside down, divided this nation, and converted the position of President into a tyranny. He has falsely hurled claims of espionage, sedition and treason at his foes, when in reality, he is the culprit without any insight into his own behavior. He has treated the presidency as his private business, wheeling and dealing in the open market. One has to wonder how often he has violated the emolument clause of the Constitution, padding his personal bank accounts. He has single-handedly violated many of our rights protected under the Constitution of the United States of América.
When citizens are under attack by their government, which is supposed to safeguard their freedom, they have a responsibility to protect themselves. As the Declaration of Independence reads—“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their safety and happiness…But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new Government.”
When your pride, dignity, and freedom are at stake, you have the constitutional right and responsibility to stand up for your rights. We do not have to regress into the anachronistic waters of racism or kowtow to a slave master. Those days are gone. Put on your hats of innovation and rebellion in whatever form you need and go out and rebel as your forefathers did.
Through hard work and determination, Americans need to create a swath leading to the White House reviving those values that have come under attack for the last 4 years. It is not an easy task, any path to freedom encounters many stumbling blocks. Americans are standing outside of the White House, struggling to break the locks and chains that has excluded their presence and participation. Some groups, invited to the White House, have retaliated, not accepting the invitation. They refused to be a part of the charade, invited into the White House as pawns and mannequins — fulfilling the theater of deceit. They are true patriots.
A deluge of voters, from many groups that have traditionally been absent from voting, filled with anxiety and cautious optimism, flooded the voting polls, voting ahead of time trying to help rebuild América. The victory we imagined is on the verge of failure—however, the will of the American people has not disintegrated. We know that retreat is not an option. The fight has just begun.
What does it mean to be a patriot today? It is not flying the flag on highways, desecrating its’ meaning. Or wearing patriotic garb while yelling at others who possess different points of view. It is practicing democratic behavior in the many interactions we have with our fellow citizens.
The Death of Democracy is on the other side of the White House gates, waiting to be buried. The birth of the new patriot has just begun. Learning how to respond to the ostensible failure of democracy creates undue anxiety. I believe that insubordination to a tyrant at the helm is a privilege—we have a duty to fight against injustice no matter where it originates and no matter who is in charge. When your pride, dignity, and freedom are at stake, you have the constitutional right and responsibility to stand up for your rights. We do not have to regress into the anachronistic waters of racism or kowtow to a slave master. Those days are gone. Put on your hats of innovation and rebellion in whatever form you need and go out and rebel as your forefathers did.
Issues such as the current pandemic, a failing economy, the prison industrial complex, a stacked Supreme Court, misogynistic attitudes, and systemic racism are still here.
I say get rid of government for and by the person. We can now say that it has become part of our history. Democracy will survive.
Keep the Spirit!
Dr. Ramón Del Castillo is an Independent Journalist. ©11-3-2020 Ramón Del Castillo.
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