Anup Samanta explains how lacking a “narrative about national peace” leads to complacency.
It’s hard to make a blanket statement about the national sentiment of 313 billion Americans. Based on my research and observations, I believe that a majority of Americans are frustrated with the State of the Union.
This sentiment is manifested in mostly benign ways, such as spirited banter on Facebook, interesting discussions over craft beers at the neighborhood bar and peaceful protests in front of the White House.
On rare, yet unfortunate occasions, this frustration is also manifested through violence. Lives are lost and changed forever. U.S. leaders then make commitments to their key publics about stopping random acts of violence. Everyone rallies behind their words and deeds. However, priorities shift over time and then a disturbing complacency rises in the horizon.
The lack of a narrative about national peace is the culprit behind this disturbing complacency. People will not remember policy babble. Nor will they remember rhetoric from leaders. The White House should deliver a narrative about national peace to key publics that will be as memorable as the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963, the Marines Hymn or the Preamble of the United States Constitution. This narrative should not only be indoctrinated, but taught in schools, universities and workplaces. It should not only be the driving force behind the nation’s values, but also our personal values.
With all the writing and speaking that’s done in these days, what exactly are we waiting for – Another senseless act of violence and the lack of urgency to prevent it?