Eighty years ago, a day that will live in infamy. FDR roared and America went to war. It took a terrible toll on Americans, yet we and our Allies prevailed, and our greatest generation moved our country forward. Peace and prosperity, the growth of the middle class, and a proud sense of being an American.
September 11, 2001. Another horrendous sneak attack on America with similar results - thousands killed and an untold amount of suffering and death among the survivors and responders today. Another call to war with a heavy price to be paid by our brave men and women in the Armed Forces again. All for democracy and the institutions that made America the greatest country in the world.
Today, our country, our democracy, and our institutions are under attack once again, but this time in plain sight, no sneak attacks, straight up from within. For more than 40 years, they have tried to destroy the Labor Movement. Hard-fought battles and victories for voting rights in America are being undermined in legislatures in some 23 states. Gerrymandering to stack the deck is rampant, ensuring one-party control. Politicizing the Supreme Court. Physically attacking our Capitol. Idolizing a demagogue. All of this will tear our country apart.
These actions are being taken in plain sight. It’s in the news, on TV, and on social media. It’s in our government institutions, it’s in our school boards and in the streets. Charlottesville and Rockville Centre, Proud Boys marching on Long Island, with Trump flags and their disdain for our President on full display. Their underlying hate for immigrants and people of color cannot be masked. When our democracy fails, we won’t be able to say it was a sneak attack. We have witnessed throughout history what happens when democracy fails. We have seen it all too many times — the horrors that dictators and totalitarian regimes have wrought on the human race.
Our democracy has never been more fragile and this test will require resolve. Not in the streets, not with guns, but with our hearts and minds. We need to stand tall. We need to organize and keep this country secure, protecting the rights of all of its people, our children, and grandchildren, and not just for some. We need to answer the call to show up and participate in our collective civic duty. Be on guard, America, for what we hold dear and may have taken for granted is in the crosshairs.