Despite all the enmity, and despite the escalating violence in America, I believe that America’s democratic values will triumph in the end. I’m aware of the surveys showing that more Americans than ever feel that it is justified to turn to their firearms if the other side wins, but when all is said and done, I believe that on the 4th of November, America will not be engrossed in civil war.
For all its apparent frailty, the American democracy is an unprecedented success. A country of 330 million people of all races, faiths, and cultures is a challenge to any regime, much more so to a regime that aspires to give freedom of expression to all the facets of society. No other country has taken such giant strides toward equality, liberated its slaves and made them citizens with equal rights, or has practiced Lazarus’ iconic words, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.” America did all that because at the end of the day, the vast majority of its citizens believe that these are the right things to do. This belief in the American values is the reason I believe America will overcome the trial of November 3, 2020.
Nevertheless, on November 4, the president, or president elect, will have to start patching up the aching and/or gloating factions of the nation. It will be a daunting task, for sure, and the sides will not agree with one another’s views. However, if they are convinced that their country matters more than their own views of how it should be run, there is a chance that they will rise above their discords and unite once more into a single nation.
The memories of the aggression, the insults of the past, all these will remain and keep on bubbling. But if people understand that they are not meant to agree, that their differences enrich one another and challenge them to polish and refine their own viewpoints, they will learn to appreciate disputes. Then, above the disagreements, it will be possible to build a sense of solidarity and mutual responsibility for all the people, whoever they are.
America has always been a role model for the free world. So far, it has been a role model of individualism and distinctiveness, but in rising above their profound rifts, Americans can become an example of the opposite. The country that has given the world the “Me! Me! Me!” culture can lead the way to love of others if it overcomes its current ruptures.
If I could advise the president, I would say that the first thing to do after the election is to assemble all the leaders in America, of every kind and from every creed, and try to bring them all to a unanimous decision regarding how to get rid of Covid so that America will be a virus free country. That will be the first test of unity, or at least the willingness to act toward it.
Next, the assembly of leaders should pick a few cities, in different parts of the country, and focus on establishing solidarity among the residents of those cities. These will be the trailblazers, the living proof of the power of unity. They will show that solidarity enables coordinated action that takes into consideration all parts of the city, all parts of the population, so that no one is left unattended and uncertain about the future.
On one hand, with the encouragement of local community leaders, residents will be obliged to contribute their part. On the other hand, the city, with the help of the state and the country, will reward that obligation with guaranteed provisions of everything from staple foods to entertainment. Community leaders and the city will not be pushing for socialism, where benefits are given unconditionally, but rather for a pro-social attitude, where one wants to give out of concern for society, but at the same time knows that one who does not give, also does not get. It is a mature and sustainable approach, and one that hasn’t been implemented since society has not been ready.
Now it seems we are approaching a phase where people are ready for change. America, precisely through its adherence to such values as equality, hard work, and freedom of expression, has the potential to lead the world to an era of reciprocity combined with personal fulfillment.
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