Eighty years ago the Imperial Japanese Navy initiated war by attacking Pearl Harbor. We need to stop and remember the horror of the date that will live in infamy and the struggle that followed. Take time to pause the manufactured chaos and division and remember what binds us together as a nation is at risk by those who foment the divisions among us, largely for personal profit or power.
We also need to remember how we came together as a nation to face our enemy.
Today we stop and remember Pearl Harbor. Tomorrow, we forget and carry on like normal. Therein lies the danger. Society isn’t too far removed from the mindset the Japanese had in 1941. Media is, with a few exceptions, a propaganda outlet and no longer interested in seeking out the truth and serving the public good or bound by at least some semblance of journalistic integrity. We are at a point where Dan Rather retiring sixteen years ago seems like an act of journalistic virtue. Are we really at a point where Dan Rather’s thinly veiled propaganda and behavior is an example of virtue? Sadly, yes. That’s a sign of how far media ethics have eroded to the point of nonexistence.
Just as dangerously, elements of society believe they have the right to engage in violence as a form of protest. This isn’t the Civil Rights era peaceful protest. This is a fundamental belief that they have been systemically wronged and are justified to use violent protest as recourse. Just as dangerous are those who explicitly or implicitly support the violence and call to defund the police. We are now in a society where violence is allowed and defended, and as a result we see cascading consequences.
All but the extreme ends of both sides of the political spectrum have some common ground from which we can start to tackle the problems impacting society. We have areas of true and unreconcilable differences, but by working together on the areas where we agree we build the bonds of goodwill and inch by inch return society to a point where we can disagree without being disagreeable. We need to remember Pearl Harbor, but we also need to remember who we are as a nation and return to sensibilities that do not tolerate threat to individual freedom.