Printed as a Letter to the Editor in The East Hampton Star, June 11 edition
June 8, 2020
To The Star:
Three and a half years of the Trump administration have left America reeling, its values and ideals subverted and sabotaged. But the best of America is still here, too, embodied in each of us who wants to see our country live up to its promise: It is in the hospital janitor, the supermarket clerk, the doctor, the bus driver, the first responder, who all courageously go to work every day during a pandemic; it is in the teacher who Zooms into the lives of students; it is in the peaceful protesters who march and make their voices heard even though they risk a virulent virus, and, at times, virulent cops, and it is in the police officers who do their jobs professionally and respectfully.
For those who believe that this country is better than the racism, the flouting of the rule of law, the incendiary tweets that are the hallmarks of the Trump administration, this can be a time of transformation, when we do the work that needs to be done: to face uncomfortable truths; to become knowledgeable about issues and elections on both the local and national levels; to hold elected officials accountable; and to make civic action a part of our daily lives.
Yes, this can be a transformative time for us. But if it is not, if this is simply an extraordinary moment that dissipates, if in November we do not resoundingly defeat Donald Trump and his renegade Republicans, then that truly will be the end of the grand American experiment in democracy.
It truly is frightening. Is this country going to turn its back on us? Those that have labored to make it a better place for everyone, those that have invested their entire lifetime and life’s work, just to see us become yet another country run by a lawless and fascist regime.