Plato once wrote, “The heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself.”
In the context of our republic, I see that as a responsibility to participate, agitate and above all, educate. A poor choice can be disastrous, an informed choice at least shows you can learn from previous mistakes and successes, but the choice to not participate invites all of the consequences and removes any chance of deciding what they’ll be.
Our President had a man assassinated today. Now, he’s far from the first to do so, but he’s among the first in my experience who disregards our experts in favor of his own… process, whatever that may entail. Charles Pierce made a worthy comment today on Twitter.
He is correct, though I don’t think we’ll need much in the way of history to regret it. Our Presidents have grown increasingly aggressive, Congress much less of a leash and more of an afterthought, if at all, when it comes to the US engaging in conflict. The US has spent more years in conflict than out, and though our history books like to present that information in such a way as to conceal that reality, my own children have never known a time when we weren’t at war. To those growing up, they are learning that our foreign policy is conflict by default, peace to be avoided. With 2020 upon us and a President up for re-election, the timing of this latest escapade is…we will say, both convenient and predicted.
We have let this happen, we have endorsed it by allowing it- encouraging it, even. Responsibility lies with us all, even if we refuse to participate, as do the consequences. I don’t like where we’re going, I’m tired of where we’ve been, and while I do sincerely believe that the majority of Americans agree with me on that point, it is not the majority that is currently being represented. We should change that before that decision is no longer ours to make.