Reader Opinion: We are responsible


Perhaps you, like me, have a “conversation” with your father on Father’s Day. Perhaps, as you grow older, like me you value more and more what your father did in life and what he represented. Today, my dad, who was the son of immigrants, and I, a beneficiary of the legacy his generation bequeathed to the world, talked.

I told him how much I admired what he, at age 30, and Americans of all ages, did when Japan’s dictatorship attacked Pearl Harbor and America’s responsibility became the global defense of constitutional democracy by carrying the torch of freedom across the Pacific into Japan and into the fascist darkness of a formerly free Europe.

I told him that his acceptance of responsibility, which willingly placed him under fire in the Philippines even as the same shouldering of responsibility killed hundreds of thousands of Americans, helped save democracy.

I told him that I recognized that he and others did not shirk responsibility at the outset, nor when they returned home; they accepted responsibility to help recreate American social, political, economic and associational life, and with the transformative power of forgiveness, he and others also became responsible for creating democracies around the world, international trade associations, global security arrangements and productive personal relationships, all benefiting humankind.

He is gone now, but I told him that as a lifelong Republican, America needed him and his responsibility accepting generation again, now, before the darkness that befell the world not yet 100 years ago, present in America and elsewhere again, irrevocably deepens and spreads its virulent branches and roots through the thoughtless vacuum that is the cipher of this American president, this ethically bereft, morally bankrupt, intellectually compromised poser, whose signature presidential phrase is “I’m not responsible.”


Thank you to all who say “I am responsible.”

John Erickson


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