When my son needed to fulfill an historic site visit requirement for his Bear Cub badge, on the first gorgeous day last spring, the kids and I walked to the town cemetery that consisted of a natural roundabout; a circular patch of green enclosed by a towering hedge, situated in middle of one of the town’s most picturesque streets.
The cemetery had markers from the late 18th century during the American Revolution. The highlight was a modern plaque before a tombstone that belonged to a one Douwe Talema, an 89 year-old great grandfather who was killed by bandits loyal to the crown at that time. These men, 100 strong, had crossed the Hudson River to invade our town, burning several homes and barns to the ground. Sadly, they also took many men here prisoner and some, like Mr. Talema, were bayoneted and left to die. The marked grave exists as a protest of the shear brutality of the invasion. Thanks to brave patriots who fought off the British, up until now, I never woke up in the night fearing something like this happening to my family. Although the violence that happened here generations ago pales in comparison to atrocities across the globe—past and present–it nevertheless had a lasting effect on its residents. One only need to read our daily news feeds to learn of brazen civil rights violations, and the brutality that so often follows, that for many is a way of life inflicted upon the masses by governments or rebel factions within.
Most Americans had never experienced such coordinated attacks on innocents that were encouraged by a monarchy-or an external hostile force. However, that has changed.
It changed the day two jets crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Today, external terrorist groups such as ISIS, through domestic proxies, spread terror by design and seemingly at will, despite Herculean efforts by law enforcement. Until we find a way to slay the ISIS dragon, expect this to get worse before it gets better.
I shudder at the influence of internal forces, namely the potential for Donald Trump to become Commander and Chief. He touts that he is the “Law and Order” candidate, but this is nothing more than a pretext for chipping away at our civil liberties. Make no mistake–should he and his backers get their way, newly appointed reactionary Supreme Court justices will curtail civil liberties, namely the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, among others. Terrorism and general public safety would be used to justify this.
That is why it is critical that we show responsibility by and taking part in the election process, as well as stand up for those who are least likely to bear the burden placed upon them by hostile political forces. Humanity will not survive in the long run without the will to do this.