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Critical caring

There is no quick remedy for treating and healing our democracy

Betsy Thomason, a Vermont resident, began writing in the 1970s as a stringer for a community newspaper in northern New Jersey. Her articles have also appeared in specialty magazines for small business, respiratory therapists, and the outdoors. She is the author of Just Breathe Out: Using Your Breath to Create a New, Healthier You (North Loop Books, 2016).

West Townshend

As of Jan. 6, 2021, the United States of America is certifiably insane and in a coma in need of critical care.

There is no quick remedy; no drug will do the trick. Maybe surgery is the best option. But surgery by itself is not the answer. Therapy, centuries of therapy, might dig us out of the diagnosis hole of insanity and bring us back to the real world of democracy as expressed in our hallowed Constitution.

As it is applied in a court of law, law.com defines insanity as “a. mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct her/his affairs due to psychosis, or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior.”

The 45th president of the United States succumbs to this diagnosis in two ways.

On the first count, he has rejected the reality of defeat despite failure of all his court appeals to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. The master of the reality television show cannot “distinguish fantasy from reality.”

Unfortunately, on the second count — “conducting his affairs” — he has continued unabated. On the third count, he remains “subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior” on social media and even in person. This is well documented.

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The current law enforcement structure in the United States may seem to fall into the “insane” category because there is a failure to distinguish fantasy from reality — shooting a man seven times in the back in Kenosha, Wisconsin versus backing off when armed thugs invade the Capitol of the United States of America.

What is the clear and present danger of a person whose back is turned in Kenosha compared to illegal entry into the nation’s Capitol? For months it has been common knowledge, based on the president’s own words, that he would not leave office easily. Because the thugs were able to enter Congress with guns drawn, I must reject the insanity plea. This was an inside job, a coordinated effort to storm the Capitol, with an inadequate Capitol police presence and few arrests.

Where were the FBI and Homeland Security during this invasion from within? Why didn’t the president of the United States address the nation immediately? Why did he say he “loves” the invaders? This is not the first time he has venerated thugs.

* * *

Equally important, we, the people, are our own worst enemy. We do not need to look beyond our shores for the culprits. They are in our midst.

A significant portion of citizens and elected officials did not take the 45th president of the United States seriously when he challenged the fundamentals of our democracy. Consequently, the government of the United States of America has sunk into the deep diagnosis hole of insanity coupled with corruption, covered with the muck of international scorn. We, the people, have lost our bright shining star, our beacon to the world that freedom rings true.

There is collective responsibility here. How do we heal a democracy? I suggest a healthy dose of civics in public education and discourse and then something as simple as reaching out to a stranger with an act of kindness and generosity?

Can we unite to throw off this mantle of insanity and collusion?

Critical caring by every citizen is required to restore “justice for all.”

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Originally published in The Commons issue #595 (Wednesday, January 13, 2021). This story appeared on page B4.

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