Vigilance

2

November 11, 2020-

Today was Veteran’s Day. I was treated to a nice breakfast at Zeke’s, watched most of the downtown Parade, met for a while, on Zoom, with some friends in a spiritual discussion group and had a light dinner at Raven Cafe.

One of the qualities people most admire in our nation’s military is that they (we) have exercised vigilance, in the performance of our duties. I did, whilst serving in the United States Army, remain watchful in handling the mail, remained alert on guard duty and executed any other duties assigned, with loyalty and honour.

These commmitments translate, for most of us in civilian life, as integrity and trustworthiness. There are certain generalities that still matter greatly to me, and in which I will stay vigilant:

  1. Everyone’s vote should count. I see no evidence that this is not being honoured by those entrusted with the electoral process. I see no evidence that the party whose candidate is leading is circumventing the process-and vigilance will keep it that way.
  2. The rights of every citizen, from the time of physical conception to death by natural causes, should be defended by everyone of conscience. Reports are surfacing that at least one technocrat, who favours a national triage system for medical care, is part of the presidential transition team. His views should remain just that, his views. Widespread abortion and forced euthanasia are not the hallmarks of civilized society, and must never take the place of the rare instances when those practices may be viewed as necessary.
  3. The Constitution must be followed. On December 14, the Electoral College should certify the next president, according to final vote tallies. On January 20, 2021, the person certified as winner should take the oath of office as President, no matter who is upset by this or how many who voted for a losing candidate take umbrage. I have long taken my own pledge as a citizen very seriously. That will not change.

Saving Grace

2

October 25, 2020-

“An ant has no quarrel with a boot.”- Tom Hiddleston, as Loki, in “The Avengers”.

A fair number of first-time voters, across the country, who are weighing social issues, are finding themselves wanting to “stay the course”. There was a time, when I thought that such an approach was prudent, as the incumbent surely knew what was best for the nation, and the nation already knew the incumbent.

It’s been several years since I have taken that view, but no matter. Every generation has to find their own voice. All the same, it is crucial to weigh the chances of pursuing dreams, both individually and collectively, given one outcome, as opposed to the other.

The rub comes when one takes the measure of his/her relative worth and power, in comparison to those of the State. There are the David/Goliath model and “We are the State, and the State is us” point of view. In the first, as can be surmised, a fearless individual, or small group, takes on a power that either practices division or arranges affairs in such a way that the strength of individuals is seemingly eroded. In the second, so well-practiced by Fascists and Communists, alike, during the mid-Twentieth Century, and still de rigeur in China, North Korea and a few other countries, there is an oddly-skewed sense of patriotism, which goes beyond flying a nation’s flag and supporting a just government, in a healthy way.

Our country’s saving grace is its Constitution, which has pulled us back from ruin, on three separate occasions: The War of 1812, the Civil War and the Watergate Crisis. My fervent hope is that the Constitution will do so again, regardless of who wins next week’s election, and regardless of how loudly the opposing sides may continue to react to one another. Our Constitution has inculcated, in the American character, a definite sense that the dignity of the individual is paramount and that equality is a clearly-established, if ever-evolving, tenet of this nation’s fabric.