America. We sure have our problems these days. We’ve got half the country mad at the other half, believing they’re traitors who stole an election. The “Stealing Side” is scared of the lack of intelligence and cultish following of their accusers.
It’s a mess. And frankly I think a big part of the mess is caused by the general drop in American critical thinking thanks to cable television, the ‘entitled’ population and a school system that is suffering from an overabundance of political correctness and a loss of focus on the basics of education.
I know that most people are not legal scholars, but seriously, a passing familiarity with the U.S. Constitution would not hurt more Americans. I’m shocked at the number of ‘patriots’ on the Republican/Trump side who seem to be either completely misreading, or more likely have never read, the U.S. Constitution. The same goes for many on the Democrat side who also evince a lack of understanding of the founding document upon which we are based.
On the one hand I’m very disheartened that we had this stress testing of the system. It’s been ugly, uncomfortable and frankly too many have died as a result of it. On the other hand, the good news is this, there are enough true patriots in the mix to put duty to the Republic over their loyalty to a sham leader. We have shown that there are enough buffers in the system, that we seem to have made it through our latest constitutional crisis.
The next great test will come in the coming weeks as the Senate decides whether to convict a former President for sedition. Truly this is a low water mark in our history. Never have we sunk this low before, and I pray that we never do again. It is my fervent hope and prayer that the Senate will convict this man and banish him and his ilk to the dustbin of history as a mere aberration, a momentary lapse of judgment and brand his name with the same scorn and disregard as that of Benedict Arnold, Aaron Burr and Aldrich Ames.
I recognize the problem with the banishing of the man and his movement is that there are 70 million Americans who believed he was their savior. They believed him when he said he would bring back coal (newsflash – he didn’t). They believed him when they said he would put American First (newsflash – he didn’t). They believed him when he said he was pro-life (newsflash – he couldn’t care less about abortion – it was a way to get the votes of the single issue voters and it worked).
Has he accomplished anything of note? Yes, he and Mitch McConnell have remade the judiciary into an extremely conservative body. Is that a good or a bad thing? I’m not sure. Because conservative can mean many things in the legal world. Can it be good for preserving rights? Absolutely. A strict constitutionalist might prevent any incursion by an overactive legislature that would limit rights. Or a strict constitutionalist might see an expansive meaning within the rights and grant greater protections.
After 21 years of fighting in family court for children and parents, the one thing I know about judges and the system is this, hard and fast rules are not always hard and fast. A strong right leaning court can make great strides in preserving civil liberties and a far left leaning court can do the same. It’s all a matter of perspective and critical thinking.
Which is why I hope that the incoming administration will bring us back to a focus on actual education and critical thinking skills rather than a focus on teaching to the test and finding an easy answer. We have difficult days ahead of us. We will have to confront very uncomfortable truths and we need to be able to have difficult conversations. Those are hard to do with someone who is not educated but is sure of their position.
I am reminded of a favorite saying, “in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.” We have been blinded by the past four years with chaos, turmoil and tumult. It is time to open our eyes and see what is left of our republic and get to work clearing the streets, washing the windows and putting a new order in place that allows for those on both sides of the aisle to be heard, valued and contribute to a more peaceful union.
Our motto is E Pluribus Unum – Out of many, one, we need to start living this with great passion again. We’ve done it before, with prior World Wars, and prior responses to catastrophes.
We can do it again, and I’m hopeful that our new administration can make it happen.
David Pisarra is a Los Angeles Divorce and Child Custody Lawyer specializing in Father’s and Men’s Rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 310/664-9969. You can follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra