When I was growing up in the 1950s and my brother, sister, and I were getting too wound up, my father would say “Calm down!” in a loud voice. He was the authority figure and so it worked.
I am not an authority figure but I would like to say the same thing to America: Calm down! Things aren’t really that bad and, by becoming too excited, we risk making things worse.
- The pandemic. The Omicron variant of the coronavirus, infectious but with mild symptoms, should be viewed as the transition from the pandemic state to an endemic state. The pandemic is turning into a routine flu illness for which we may have to get vaccinated every year, as many of us do already. You don’t need to get tested unless or until you have flu-like symptoms.
- January 6. The Capitol riot was disgraceful but hardly an insurrection. Two simple steps can assure that it will never happen again. Strengthen the Capitol Police Force, which is already being done, and either repeal or modify the ceremonial Electoral Count Act which Vice President Pence was implementing on January 6, 2021. Hopefully, in the near future, the progressive left will lower the volume of its rhetoric in complaining about this one-off event.
- Civil War. Too much dwelling on insurrection and violence has now led to predictions that the U.S. may be headed into a new Civil War. This is frankly, ridiculous, with the very strong civil institutions we have in this country. Fortunately, there are many other voices who are poo-pooing such talk.
- Is President Biden a uniter or a divider? Elected President in 2020 along with the thinnest of Congressional support, Joe Biden started out saying that he wanted to unite the whole country. But in his recent Georgia speech about voting rights, he declared that “the (Senate) filibuster has been weaponized and abused” by the Republicans. Senators will now “declare where they stand, not just for the moment, but for the ages.” All this for new Georgia voting procedures which are less restrictive than those in Delaware and New York State!
Conclusion. Democracy is thriving in the United States. Yes, we are highly polarized but our 234-year-old Constitution (ratified in 1788) is performing brilliantly. We are the strongest and most prosperous country in the world with huge political and economic influence. We will likely continue to play our strong worldwide leadership role for many years to come.