(Aug. 27) Everybody should calm the bleep down before I lose my mind and start shooting at all of you who can’t calm down! NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You see the problem above. What we’ve got here is failure to alleviate.

Where, pray tell, are the national leaders who, in calm voices and with empathy, will tell people on all sides of our cultural divides that we need to pull together, wait for facts, soften the rhetoric, respect each other, and, most of all, avoid not just violence but all acts threatening or even tending in that direction?

Even when Democratic leaders mouth hurried asides about how, of course, they don’t condone violent protests, they say it as if someone is feeding them castor oil. Only when they repeatedly encourage the “protests” in general do they sound enthused, animated, and sincere.

Even when Republican leaders mouth hurried asides about how, of course, they condone neither racism nor police misconduct, they sound as if they are teenagers mumbling words to avoid being grounded. Only when they repeatedly blast the riots and violence do they appear, well, not just fully engaged, but zealous.

Real statesmen — indeed, leaders with just sense and decency — would react differently….

…. Where are the leaders who should be urging de-escalation of tensions and avoidance of furious scapegoating at every turn? Where are the ones offering not just hurried platitudes but real evidence that people do still hold most values in common, that our society is not irredeemably racist, and that the system actually can work to address what obviously are continuing flaws and weaknesses in some major societal systems?

Gerald Ford’s autobiography was called “A Time to Heal”

Where is today’s Gerald Ford to insist it is time to heal? Where is today’s Jack Kemp to insist to fellow Republicans that the people of our “tenements and barrios” must not be left behind and that their human potential is vast? Where is today’s Daniel Patrick Moynihan to tell hard truths about cultural decline while never giving up on the possibility of reversing it? And where is today’s George McGovern to share with fellow liberals a late-in-life epiphany about the admirability of capitalist entrepreneurship?

What we need here is a willingness to communicate….

[The full column is at this link.]


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