by IRENE FOWLER, Contributor
America is teetering on the brink, and which side of history it ends up on, will have lasting implications for the global community at-large. The foundations of America are mired in harsh and callous controversy; an inescapable legacy which has dogged and peppered every defining and accompanying narrative of the nation.
Against this backdrop is the astronomical human progress which has been achieved, and has come to represent the flowering of human potential. The apotheosis of America from the terra firma of fellow earthlings to a bestowed characterization, as “God’s own country” is still current. The moniker conjures notions of astronomical power, limitless resources, grandeur, invincibility, dominance and immortality.
Having the imprimatur of ‘America’ affixed to a person, place or thing, is a universal coin of the realm and mark of peculiarity.
Furthermore, the moral leadership of America has been axiomatic in global geo-politics, and expected to be projected and utilized in direct proportion to its immense material and military powers and prowess. For these reasons, the prospect of a calamitous fall from such a stratospheric level of the leviathan of nations, is beyond human comprehension and defies the imagination.
As pro-democracy gate keepers/proponents in America fight off a domestic powerful, virulent, and violent authoritarian movement; normal and familiar activities will continue unabated. The trains and planes will run, and take-off on time, high school cheerleaders will wave their colourful pom-poms at ball games, restaurants and street food vendors will cater to every taste bud, shopping malls will be open to the foot fall of shoppers, the hustle and bustle of countless businesses will continue to pump life into the economy, Broadway shows will continue to delight theater-goers and dog lovers will cheerfully walk their adorable pooches along tree-lined avenues, down country lanes and in city parks. However, whichever way the pendulum ultimately swings, the nation would have arrived at a defining period – a time and place, set in solid concrete.
“History does not repeat itself but it often rhymes” – Mark Twain.
In a published scholarly classic, by Yale educated Professor Edward Watts entitled, “Mortal Republic: How Rome fell into Tyranny”; Watts succinctly catalogues the transition of ancient Rome from a Republic to a tyrannical dictatorship and more importantly and equally alarming, draws parallels with present day America.
It is obvious to all but those in a state of cognitive dissonance, that the wheels are coming off the juggernaut that is – the American democracy experiment. As America hurtles towards taking its place in history, the best-case scenario is that indeed, the approaching storm clouds can be turned around in a way that presents a reset button, which will renew and reaffirm the tenets of a stable, functioning democracy. Failing which there is little hope for the rest of the world’s democracies, as an iron curtain is once again descending in parts of Europe; this time evincing the most sinister shades of hyper-nationalism and authoritarianism.