Updated: Oct 17, 2021
Some of us thought that President Biden’s victory would take the wind out of the White Storm, but that became wishful thinking after the January insurrection. Now, the storm rages and it threatens our democracy.
In a way, this storm is a repetition of hurricanes and tornadoes that have been an integral part of our history since the Atlantic commerce of land and people. Recent scholarship gives more and more credence to the theory that even the American Revolution was partially propelled by the White Storm. The British government was already talking about the abolition of slavery and the Treaty of 1763 limited the expansion of the colonies beyond the border of “Indian Territory.” It certainly took over after the Reconstruction period in the mythology of the “lost cause.” We may not be able to calm it. But we can protect our democracy from it.
Just like Red Flag warnings will not eliminate California fires, they make us aware of the danger and in some cases, may save homes and lives. In the same way, “Red Flags” will not eliminate the White Storm, but they will keep us aware and awake. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all work together? Wouldn’t it be nice if we still had two political parties whose disagreements could be addressed through rational debate? The trumpet has been sounded. It’s time to take cover and to protect the vulnerable. Let’s face it, you don’t fight a storm, you protect yourself from it.
How do we do this: First of all, we protect the vulnerable. That means today that we make sure everyone has full access to our democracy, which means passing the “For the People Act.” We must also protect civilians from police brutality and abuse and provide care for those in need, that means passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. Secondly, we must enforce the rule of law. When possible, we must hold people, like Trump, accountable for their crimes. Criminal justice may be slow, but it must be steady and trustworthy.
I know, some believe that we can take the wind out of the White Storm by giving people jobs or money. The White Storm is not an economic problem. It’s not an individual problem. It’s a social problem that does not have a social solution. The solution requires a civic engagement in the formulation of public policies that are grounded in the “promise” of our democracy.
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