There is evil in the air. You can sense it, hear it, feel it. It is in the sound and agony of our dying democracy, and in the disruption and division caused by the eruption of a new divisive and provocative nation, conceived in lies, deceit and treachery.
We are witnesses and accomplices to the rise of a dangerous and malevolent nation. A nation willingly groomed and restructured into the antithesis of what once was the hope of humanity. A nation that once reflected the golden light of promise and of courage, now spewing hatred and threats that undermine and destabilize the greatness that once was.
A new profanity of faith and of allegiance has overtaken the transparency and innocence that once inspired and stirred the heart and soul of a nation. A raw vulgarity and crudeness has replaced the delicacy of decency and diplomacy. We have become the antagonist, the nemesis — the very enemy we had for so long fought against.
And like a new land erupting from the depths of the sea in a turbulent thrust toward the heavens, our new nation is erupting and smoldering in a sea of confusion, delusion, fallacy and megalomaniac malaise. And the rise of a dangerous and malevolent nation begins, despite the lessons of the history of our nation and of our world, which bares the remnants and the stains on our humanity perpetrated by the actions of nations and of leaders who defied and flouted their powers to advance their despotic and soulless adventures into hell and beyond.
The faithful have been blinded by their misguided search for a voice, instead of belief in the spiritual promise of hope. Patriots have been deceived by the sound of beating drums and words that defy and challenge, and that rouse the fervor of power and of strength. It is this combination of beguiled passion and belief that destroys the symmetry and the harmony of the world around us. It is this chaotic sound and fury that captivates and lures the weak, the frail and the discontented and disillusioned to walk into the quagmire of history and into the anguished pit of denial and rejection of all that has shaped and forged the character and reputation of a nation.
Already the clouds of despair and doubt are darkening the brilliance and the radiance of who we were. Already the drums of war can be heard, as the march of unquestioning soldiers begins down the spiral path to the obscurity of forgotten dreams and vanquished lives. Already we see the abandonment of advice and consent, and adherence to institutional practice, tradition and convention. Already the rise of a dangerous and malevolent nation is inciting the flames to reawaken crusades and rivalries. It is the calm before the storm. It is the beginning before the end.
There seems to be in our nation today an audacious and brazen contempt for the sanctity and legitimacy of truth and of those who would dare question the audacity of hope and belief in the promise of our heritage and our legacy.
I watched and listened to the impeachment proceedings in dismay and utter sadness, and felt the presence of the evil and apathy that has permeated the halls and corridors of our government and perverted the logic and intellect of our legislators. And it exhausts me and challenges me.
How, I ask myself, did we get to this place and this time in our history, where common sense, common knowledge, common decency and long-established and enduring common values are no longer part of the American experience or the American character?
It is seeing the rise of a dangerous and malevolent nation before my eyes that stirs and disturbs my heart and shatters my spirit. It is watching the crumbling and collapsing institutional order and tradition of governance and authority that brings back images of places and of times in our recorded history that I thought had been left to wither and die with the passage of time. I was wrong.
There is evil in the air. You can sense it, hear it, feel it. It is in the sound and agony of our dying democracy and in the struggling emergence of a new nation, conceived in lies, deceit and treachery. But as I look toward the spacious skies and over the amber waves of grain and purple mountains and fruited plains, I can still see wisps of hope that linger in the hearts of those like me, who more than self their country love.
My love for America is undimmed by my fragile human tears for what I see and hear happening around me, like seeing the characterless and cowardly display of weakness and impotence by those tasked with keeping alive the American dream Yet, as an American and a veteran, I feel broken and dejected by the contempt and attempt by those who would abandon and forsake the legacy of pride and courage and strength that was America.
I feel an ache inside of me for those we left behind in Vietnam and in countess other wars — friends and comrades who suffered and died on battlefield, deserts, swamps and jungles around the world, for an idea and an ideal that has been dishonored and tainted by the cowardice and timidity of failing to uphold the convictions and values that once defined the stature and the character of America.
It is hard for me to imagine the rise of a dangerous and malevolent nation emerging from the heart and soul of a once great and caring America. Yet, the winds of discontent and the shadows of deceit and duplicity have converged over the landscape and the panorama of great accomplishments and endeavors led and inspired by America’s dignity and humble majesty.
The fading golden light of promise and of courage is flickering in the winds of change that are trampling out the force and passion of the grace, the glory and the honor of this sweet land of liberty — America the beautiful.
Let us reach for the wisps of hope that linger in the hearts of those who still believe in the enduring promise and lasting legacy of our fathers and our founders. And I pray that through the darkness of the days to come, however long the night ahead, the dawn will break and light from above shall cast away the shadows and the winds of chaos from my home, sweet home — the America of hope and of dreams.
So, even as I see the rise of a dangerous and malevolent nation taking place before me, I still have hope. We should all still have hope that the insanity will stop.
Al Garcia lives in Palm Valley.