Like most Americans, the historic and tragic events of the past week have shaken us to our core. Witnessing these events emotes feelings of great sadness, anger, and worry about the state of our country and where we can possibly go from here. Overwhelming may be another word to best describe the emotions of the moment, of which no words feel adequate.
As an effort dedicated to engaging Americans to better understand and address what’s dividing us, these events have caused a moment of deep reflection, and reinforced how humble we must be in tackling our cause in the days ahead.
What took place at the Capitol last week was tragic, shocking and jarring, but not all together surprising. The divisiveness of our national discourse, and mounting distrust of our institutions, has been building for quite some time. And it has been ratcheted up and used by the President for political benefit, with no regard to what it means for the long term health of our democracy. The acts of aggression and the assault on the norms and institutions of our democracy are so heinous, it is hard to see how we move past this as one nation.
But we must. If we are to succeed as a nation, we must.
We will have to take the time to understand how we got to this point and address the causes that are allowing anger, resentment and mistruths to pull us further and further apart. If we do not use this moment to change course, and get at the roots of how we got here, then no – this will not be when we hit bottom, and worse may be yet to come.
But if we are going to change course, this is the moment to do it. Doing so will first require that all Americans condemn in the strongest terms the actions by those in power that led to the events at the Capitol last week, and the perpetrators that carried it out. It will require prosecuting and using all due process to bring those responsible to justice, for accountability must be had if we are to restore faith and trust in the system.
We must hold those in power to live up to the words they’ve shared in the past week. There have been many sentiments shared by those in Congress and the media regarding the need to come together and work toward the common good. But we’ve heard that all before after other tragic moments, only to revert to a vicious cycle of division and dysfunction that is the hallmark of our politics.
Finally, we must engage as citizens. We cannot sit on the sidelines. Meaningful and lasting change will not come from Washington, but when a critical mass of us changes how we engage with each other, within our communities, and in service to our nation to help chart a better path. If not now, when?
The time is now to FixUS. Sign our petition to demand action.