December 22, 2019, La Crosse Tribune
For three years, President Donald Trump and his administration have undone our national institutions and structures of democracy.
In 1776, there was no middle ground for independence from tyranny. “Give me liberty or give me death.”
In 1863, there was no middle ground for the abolition of slavery. A war fought to preserve “government of the people, by the people and for the people that it not perish from the earth.”
In 1936, there was no middle ground. A New Deal undid dangerous government by organized money.
In 1964, there was no middle ground for the civil liberty of all Americans. The Civil Rights Act resulted from the courage and tenacity of thousands and millions of freedom devoted Americans.
There was no middle ground then.
There is no middle ground today.
We can either do the hard work of making our democracy work or we can succumb to the rule of oligarchy. Appeasement will not work. There is no third way. There is no easy way. There is no moderate way. We must use what remains of our democracy to preserve it or we will lose it.
“Our nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that we are all equal” is not guaranteed. No one is above the law.
We can struggle every day to preserve and carry forward our tradition and aspiration for democracy or we can stand by and witness its death.
There is no middle ground here.