This won’t be the first time that baby boomers— many of whom have lost their mothers and fathers— say they’re glad their parents aren’t still around to see how our nation has changed. Count communications specialist Larry Checco of Silver Spring, Maryland, among them. As a Boomer Voice, he says the United States has become a country his father wouldn’t recognize.
My father was a forward observer in the South Pacific during WWII, daring to range beyond the front lines to help determine what the other side was up to.
He was awarded a Bronze Star for scaling a palisade under heavy enemy fire, with a radio on his back, during the battle for Manila.
He never talked much about his military service, except for some of his more humorous experiences.
Like the time he spent a month or so in the jungle with a group of Philippine guerillas. When he was leaving them to return to his regular Army unit, the leader of the guerrilla group presented him with a horse, a white horse no less, as a gift.
My father used to laugh like hell when he told that story. “What was I going to do with a horse?”, he’d bellow.
He died two days before his 94th birthday. But were he alive today I don’t think he’d be laughing.
Our country is at war again. This time the enemy isn’t wearing camouflage in some far-off jungle. This time the enemy is right out in the open, in our communities— and now in our Congress.
In short, we’re at war with ourselves, and at stake is nothing less than our very democracy and way of life.
If this war were confined to the normal back-and-forth, push-and-shove debates common to cultural wars about taxes, abortion, religion in the public square and such, that would be one thing.
But this war has pushed the boundaries of civil debate off the rails and into the dangerous and often uncontrollable realm of physical violence, as witnessed by the deadly assault on our Capitol on January 6th.
When a president can incite a deadly riot, and when a freshman Congresswoman— whether it was prior to being elected or not— can suggest that the Speaker of the House could be quickly removed “by a bullet to the head” and that federal law enforcement agents hostile to then-president Donald Trump should be executed, a blinding red line has been crossed.
To add insult to injury, as long as she and others like her remain under government employ, it means our tax dollars are supporting seditious behavior while keeping these people in a prominent position to fundraise hundreds of thousands of dollars— millions in the case of our former president— to take our government down.
After last month’s assault on Congress, more than two million firearms were purchased.
A survey conducted last summer by the National Shooting Sports Foundation found that roughly 40-percent of the guns purchased in 2020— or 8.4 million— were by first-time buyers. 40-percent of those purchasers were women.
We’ve reached a dangerous tipping point. Once, angry anti-government anti-Semitic white supremacist militia groups were considered “fringe elements.” Though still a minority, through persistence and the help of social media, not to mention people in high places, they have now become mainstream players.
They have no interest in governing. They know naught about political norms or decorum. They hold no desire to help our nation become a more perfect union.
Instead, they are like dogs chasing after a car. They say they are aggrieved for being “left behind,” but have no remedy to resolve their grievances other than anger and violence.
By some miracle had they successfully taken over the Capitol, seized our lawmakers and their staffs, and set up shop— whatever that might have looked like— what then? Complete anarchy? A failed state? Blood in the streets? A return to the Wild West, where every dispute is settled in the manner of the OK Corral?
My father’s heart would have broken to see what is happening to the America he and so many millions of others fought so hard to preserve.
Had he been offered that white horse today, he just might have accepted it— and ridden out of Dodge.