Democracy is not Utopia. It is not the fulfillment or end of anything. Democracy does not end history, but makes it less dangerous and more bearable. Democracy can always be improved, but perfection is not in its nature. Democracy is a modus vivendi negotiated among selfish frightened human beings. People who are different from each other, who look different, speak differently, believe differently, -- even people who hate each other -- agree to somehow live together. Factions, parties, interests, constituencies can compete for power without murdering each other. The rule of law means safety for everyone, but especially for minorities from the tyranny of overbearing majorities. People can live their lives as they see fit despite the pronouncements of some philosopher king or the prevailing majority opinion.
Democracy, like youth, is best appreciated when it is lost.
I hope that our current retreat from democracy is only temporary and not a permanent transformation, that this current revanchism is but a passing phase. I hope I live long enough to see democracy restored and reborn in this country. I hope I will see the USA return to its very painful and imperfect struggle to try to live out the principles of Liberty and Justice for All outlined in its founding documents. I hope to see people's work valued, that they share in what they produce, and can make a genuine claim upon their own country. I hope that people will not always be treated as a source of cheap disposable labor, or like tenants in their own country. I hope Liberty once again can lift up her lamp beside an open door welcoming the wretched refuse of teeming shores, as she did for all of our forefathers and foremothers who came here as refugees and immigrants looking for safety and a better life just like today's cast-aways. I hope to see the rule of law restored and the rule of strength and expediency rejected. I hope to see people of integrity in public life again instead of a grotesque parade of scoundrels, fanatics, thugs, racists, and paranoids.
I hope to see the USA rejoin the civilized world and once again lead by example and blaze trails for liberal democracy, for freedom and dignity for everyone.
Emma Gonzalez and James Shaw
The Women's March, January 2018
Taliesin Myrddin Nakmai-Meche, 23 died; Ricky John Best, 53, died;
Micha David Cole-Fletcher, 21, injured
These men intervened to stop a racist attack by Jeremy Joseph Christian upon two women on a Portland Oregon light rail train, May 26, 2017. Christian turned and attacked them with a knife. Two of them paid the last full measure of their devotion. Another was badly injured.