If I weren’t an American but rather a foreigner simply observing the country’s politics, I would think the idea of America being a land of law and order which dispenses blind justice was more of an inside joke told often aloud to others and not the actual mantra used to indoctrinate the populous.
For what period of time in American history has justice ever been blind? And for whom was this law and order concept established to manage?
Those would be just two questions I’d asked, particularly if I was observing in another land American politics, or America’s political news, during the last days of July 2016.
No word would describe the aforementioned time period more accurately than demoralizing. And it’s not that viewing America’s politics isn’t almost always disheartening, because it is; it’s just that this week – following the #DNCLeak, which revealed unethical and maybe criminal behavior on behalf of the Democratic National Committee, and all the charges being dropped against the remaining officers involved in the reckless arrest of the late Mr. Freddie Gray of Baltimore, who died from injuries sustained while in police custody – the apparatus of American government became unusually unnerving to those interested in its salvation, like I.
This week, the American public, already distrustful of the country’s core institutions, witnessed intolerable actions go unpunished all the while a robust celebration of politics ensued in the birthplace of democracy, Philadelphia. How are we, the people, to make sense of everything that happened and, more importantly, the response of indifference to it all?
None of the speakers at the Democratic National Convention were really outraged that the soon-to-be-former Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee appeared to have been favoring the Clinton campaign, despite the charter governing the office requiring neutrality.
And none of the speakers yesterday, after news broke about the officers’ dropped charges, dissented from the ranks to voice displeasure, even though the Mayor of Baltimore, Mrs. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, was in attendance.
But we, the people, have been visibly outraged by these current events. The public has tweeted; marched and protested; written articles and demanded more issue-related coverage from the media, some of whom were shown in the #DNCLeak to be colluding with the establishment; the political class, however, has done the opposite. This week, more so than ever before, highlighted the evident disconnect between American laymen and leadership; it painted a clear picture as to why the country is experiencing such a trust deficit.
In the absence of accountability grows a trust deficit, which enables and validates cynicism and diminishes civic engagement. America doesn’t have to retain this deficit; it could overtime rapidly regain its social capital, but only if accountability is present; the math is simple and rigid: no accountability, no trust.
I know stopping Mr. Donald Trump from being elected President is a political priority of the Democrats; and stopping Mrs. Hillary Clinton from being elected President is a political priority for the Republicans; but where does this leave the people of America and their need for peace of mind?
Is there no bigger political agenda among officials in America at the moment than partisanship? Are we, the people, expected to merely remain spectators while politicians put party over country? We must resist the status quo and become the change we desire to see.
The American news headlines don’t often reflect a country of law and order; just the opposite, in fact: it reflects a land wherein unlawful and disorderly conduct is a right among certain leaders and the demise of laymen; but to be fair, what’s being done to us is only what we, the people, allow.
We, the people, must push America to put personalities and partisan politics aside and instead focus on living up to its promise; America at this moment in history needs an accountability agenda, or it’ll never actually be a country of law and order, and we, the people, will forever remain distrustful.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
The role of men is changing in the 21st century. Want to keep up? Get the best stories from The Good Men Project delivered straight to your inbox, here.