Reader Opinion: Choosing a future
We are continually choosing the future we prefer with our opinions, with our actions and even with our stubbornness and whims. We can try to convince others to agree with us with information and facts, with passion or even with force and intimidation. We can accept the decisions of the society or we can resist what others see as the best course, or we can become obstructionist.
In a democracy these things are decided by discussion and vote and if we want to continue being a democracy, we are obliged to go along with those decisions. To the degree that we refuse, we begin the slide away from democracy toward authoritarianism, chaos, and anarchy.
Democracy is more than voting for leaders; it is ultimately about how effectively those leaders represent the citizenry’s needs in dealing with the realities of the world.
Rights derive from responsibilities. If you do not accept the basic responsibilities of citizenship in a democracy you cannot claim any rights. Rights are not an entitlement but a reward for supporting the processes of democracy.
We are at one of those moments in our national history in which we must choose between two very different paths forward. One is about choosing to unify in a democracy to resolve the existential problems of the COVID-19 virus and a planet beginning to spin out-of-control with unattended climate changes. Or we can choose a future in which we opt for guns and force as a solution to perceived threats and feed a continuing confrontation and obstruct any hope of solutions. Let us hope we can find the wisdom to put our differences aside, coming together to heal our democracy and find workable solutions to create a sustainable future for all of us, and perhaps for the planet.