The crash and tumult of broken glass, broken dreams and broken promises is burying in sheer noise the guiding principle of America: “We, the people of these United States…”

There are hints that these words stick in mind. A relative few of us worked very hard, against vast fortunes spent to obscure truth, so our recent election turned out voters enough to prove we still care. The result will remove a man who has lied daily to himself, America and the world, and will install men and women who will abide by their oaths of office as they try to guide government and nation back toward sanity and unity. Toward working together instead of working to divide, to create fear and hate, and to isolate us each from the other.

Few are alive now who heard Adolf Hitler scream hate into a microphone, but some of us remember the screaming and the endless bloody result, the starved contorted bodies “suddenly” found at war’s end, the shock and silence as newsreel screens silently showed us what can happen when voters like ourselves ignore bigotry, fearmongering and the preaching of hatred.

Some of us saw this, some of us helped heal the wounded and bury the dead, prayed this might never happen again. It has, it does, it will.

But it can happen only when we turn away from personal and public responsibility. If we fail to teach our children that all responsibility is personal, we fail each other, mankind and the planet.

We have lived through a near miss. Our next failure could be fatal to us all.

 

John Holt Willey

Waterville

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