Defend Our Democracy

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

All of us have a duty to our country and our conscience.

All of us must take responsibility for our actions or inaction.

It’s our democracy. If we don’t take action, nobody will.

As bigotry and hate loom their ugly twin heads and our nation is divided by lies and propaganda, the fabric of democracy begins to fray. At a moment like this, we must ask ourselves, what can the ordinary citizen do?

We’ve seen what happens when demagogues come to power. Just look at Russia, Venezuela, and Turkey. They were once budding democracies. Now they are totalitarian states run by thugs. The Philippines, Hungary, Poland, Italy, and Brazil are headed down the same path. Who’s next? Where does it end?

All I know is that each of us must fight to reverse this tide. We can no longer afford to wait for someone else to step forward. We cannot stand by and watch as hatred, racism, and ignorance triumph.

It is time to rise up against the hate mongers. If we do not, shame on all of us. We still have our freedom of speech. We still have a voice. And we must organize and act before it’s too late–before our rights and safeguards are eroded so completely that the freedoms we take for granted begin to disappear.

Hitler and Goebbels used fear and lies to undermine the German democracy and justify sending brown shirts into the streets to beat and terrorize Jews. Over the past year, there has been a rise in mass shootings across America, discrimination against Muslims, scapegoating of immigrants, violence against Jews, and bombs winding up on the doorsteps of political activists. Hate crimes were up 17% last year alone.

Are we that far off from Germany of the early 1930s? Remember, the Nazis were a fringe party. They were never the majority. They took power by subterfuge, fear mongering, and distorting the truth.

We need to stand up against white nationalists and bring them down. Not with violence. Not with anger. But with the power of our own words. Words that speak to all Americans.

We need a vision for America that cuts through the lies and deception and unites us under our shared values–the American values we grew up believing in: liberty, justice, and freedom for all peoples of all races, religions, and ethnicities.

I’m reaching out to you, the people of this great country. Let us mobilize and do everything we can to stop hate before it undermines our most scared institutions.

• We must raise our voices so that no amount of propaganda can drown us out.

• We must smash down bigotry and hatred wherever they rear their ugly heads.

• We must shout down the endless lies until truth finally wins out.

• And we must never give up fighting for what we know is right.

Only if we do these things, can we ensure that generations to come will inherit the gifts of our democracy and a life better than ours. Join me, and let’s set America on a new path forward.

Steve Hoffman
Captain of Lead America Forward

Photo by Anthony Garand on Unsplash