Perspective: The Underbelly Of Democracy

Dec 3, 2020

Mirror, mirror on the Wall, who’s The Greatest of Them All?

For years the mirror told us, “Why of course America, you’re the greatest!” Now the mirror has a different answer -- not you.

America is not the greatest country in the world. The United States is built on myth and story told by those who won. The truth is very different. Years of greed, lust for power acquired by free slave labor, the pillage and slaughter of native people, the continued misuse of power rationalized through the narrow intentions of a privileged class have corroded our ability for true greatness.

When the mirror was held up this past year, many people accused the mirror of lying, treason, while others took to the public space demanding a new mirror, a better mirror. Then the 2016 election happened -- how did he win?  It was punishment for electing a black president -- twice. The mirror told us the ugly truth and white supremacy fought back.

Let’s stop pandering with soft words and step up with strong policy and practice. Engage in institutional work that reveals the ugly underbelly of democracy that has been here since the beginning. Let’s level the field, inviting people at the margins towards a new American Dream -- one that’s open to everyone.

Every morning, I look in the mirror. Sometimes I wonder “Who is that looking back at me?” Then mirror asks me, “What will you do today?”  Sometimes I have an answer and sometimes I feel despair. The simple answer? Wake up, look in the mirror and wait for the truth to be revealed to me -- again.

I’m Lou Ness and that’s my perspective.