AAs the New Year dawns, my replacement theory tops the list of what I hope will characterize it. I want to see anger replaced with understanding, grievance replaced with empathy, defamation replaced with dialogue, and antagonism replaced with tolerance. These are not designs for an imaginary utopia, they are pleas addressed to our fellow citizens so that together we can save our democracy and our social contract.
No matter where you are on the political spectrum, it should become increasingly evident that this country is only the strongest when we all work as one team. Right now there is a great need for us to be a strong team. A pandemic is raging. The world is becoming more and more dangerous by the minute. And even if these conditions prevail, they are clouded over by intensifying storms, spreading droughts, melting ice, falling water levels and rising seas. We cannot stand up in the face of these challenges if we persist in remaining bitterly divided.
None of the replacements I am advocating will be easy. I know this from personal experience. However, our democratic future and that of our descendants are threatened. If we resolve to heal our deep divisions, this country can avoid plunging into an abyss of anarchy that no one really wants.
I look forward to hearing people refer to the United States, which I have served and who have served me, with words (broad genres) similar to those used by Pericles in 431 BCE to praise his Athens. .
âOur form of government is not to compete with the institutions of others. Our government does not copy the neighbors â, but is an example for them. It is true that we are called a democracy, because the administration is in the hands of many and not of a few. But if there is equal justice for allâ¦ the claim to excellence is also recognized. When a citizen distinguishes himself in any way, he is preferred to public office, not out of privilege, but as a reward for merit. Poverty is not an obstacle either, but a man can benefit his country no matter how dark his condition.
A retired military intelligence specialist and international business executive, the author teaches at the Academy for Lifelong Learning.