We need to focus on all of us

  • The White House as shown on Oct. 5. AP

Published: 10/27/2020 9:32:06 AM

It’s not about him. It’s about us. About the U.S.

Charles Dickens wrote “The Tale of Two Cities” in 1859. It begins, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way — in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

Wow! Was Dickens listening in from wherever he is in 2020, 161 years after he wrote his famous novel? Or do things never change with the human race? This opening passage points out the major conflict between family and love, hatred and oppression, good and evil, light and darkness, and wisdom and folly. Dickens begins his tale with a vision that human prosperity cannot be matched with human despair. He, in fact, tells us about a class war between the rich and the poor. He also tells of a time of despair and suffering on one hand, and joy and hope on the other.

Dickens’ novel embodies conflicting aspects of the French Revolution in general: on one hand, the Revolution led to the deaths of many people who hadn’t done anything wrong, and were likely good people on a personal level. On the other hand, the Revolution was a response to generations of well-documented injustices. Many French aristocrats could be considered guilty by association, or as a result of profiting from systems of exploitation.

To focus on the man who is unfit to currently occupy the White House is a waste of time, a diversion from the core issues necessary to preserve our still evolving democracy. Diversion is what this president is so, so good at. It may be his only talent.

We need to focus on US, all of us. The U.S. that is all of us.

We must reclaim the separation of the three branches of government whose walls have been breached by this and previous administrations.

This is not an “opinion” essay. It is a statement of what are facts. And a question to Trump supporters.

The facts are that the president has used his office to further his personal business enterprises, delayed the government’s still inadequate response to the COVID-19 pandemic, “hired” obedient donors to head and bend critical government agencies to his will, and has a been non-stop liar for the past four years. If you are a Trump supporter that somehow believes that the four statements above are not true, there is no way to have a conversation with you. You believe in falsehoods, in false beliefs.

If, on the other hand, you acknowledge these facts, we could all agree that Trump is a less than qualified person to be president of the U.S. But if you are determined to still vote the president in for a second term, that’s another story. You are essentially voting for this morally and ethically corrupt law breaker to further his agenda, or some parts of his agenda that you support. I get that.

Once we get past that reality — that the man is in no way qualified to be president — then we could begin to examine, discuss and debate what is needed to achieve the one-time American dream. This is the belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, can attain their own version of success in a society where upward mobility is possible for everyone. And that this dream is achieved through sacrifice, risk-taking, and hard work, rather than by chance.

We, all of us (I think and hope) are more than aware that the deck is stacked against millions of us by systemic racism, income inequality and poverty, access to education, and a growing lack of employment opportunities. To not acknowledge these socio-economic factors is to avoid reality.

Your vote on Nov. 3 can only be a choice between the future of our country or the enabling of an authoritarian president to further destroy American democracy.

John Bos is a Greenfield resident and registered Independent. Questions and comments are invited at john01370@gmail.com.


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