Believe, But Be Ready
History has laid the mantle of saving our American democracy on us. How can we do it? We must fight tyranny by being patriots. On Tyranny, Twenty Lessons From the Twentieth Century, by Timothy Snyder, offers Lesson 19: “Be a patriot. Set a good example of what America means for the generations to come. They will need it.”
What is patriotism? It is patriotic to serve your country, whether in the military, as a first or second responder, or as a civil servant. It is patriotic to love the American ideal of “Liberty and Justice for All,” yet to also acknowledge that we are not nearly there. Patriots judge their country by universal values and always wish to do better.
Joe Biden is a patriot. He has served America all of his adult life. His love for America is apparent, yet he sees America for what it is, warts and all. Joe Biden reminds us that he will be an American President and not a “red state” or “blue state” president. Biden is a proud Democrat, but he is a proud American first.
The opposite of a patriot is a nationalist – void of values, ethics, and not tethered to the real world. Donald Trump has no understanding of service because, for him, the presidency is just one big grift. He appreciates foreign strongmen while degrading our own Justice Department and admires autocratic countries more than America. We are called the United States of America for a reason – we fought a brutal war to remain so. Yet, Donald Trump expels enormous effort into dividing us. There is no patriotism in rejecting our laws – Donald Trump will not even agree to concede if he loses.
As we enter these final days before the election, we must take the lead of Vice President Biden and be patriots. We must expect our nation to live up to its ideals and see America in the real world. We must live our Democratic values: empathy, responsibility for each other, and a belief in good government for the common good. We must have unity over division, science over fiction, truth over lies, and hope over fear.
If Donald Trump does not concede the election, we will use nonviolent tactics to save our democracy. Know that many organizations are preparing for this contingency. This will require a coalition of many democracy-loving groups. It’s a good thing that we have been building those coalitions for years. As events unfold, the Northville Dems will provide updated, accurate information. Work through Election Day towards a huge win, but if things “go south,” we will fight tyranny together. We are ready.
I believe that Joe Biden will win and save the soul of our nation. I believe we will elect Democrats up and down the ballot so that we can have an America that works for everyone. I believe this is the Third Reconstruction and we have the clear-eyed sight and organization to fulfill the promise that “All men (sic) are created equal.”
That said, I know it won’t be easy. I know we must fight for a blue wave. Continue to organize with us and we will win.
Northville Democratic Club