In response to Washington Post lead editorial 1-1-17: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/democracy-takes-work-and-thats-on-all-of-us-in-this-perilous-new-year/2016/12/30/8a6812d8-cea2-11e6-a87f-b917067331bb_story.html
Your editorial “What will matter most in 2017” should have started quoting H.G. Wells, "Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe." - H.G. Wells. In this context catastrophe is coming. And, it will because of “our national skepticism about…all-encompassing-systems of government” that your editorial claims has served us well. Skepticism has it place but not nationalistic idealism. Albert Einstein, an advocate for world government instead of world chaos, once said “Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind."
Those in power within our increasingly dysfunctional government have routinely rejected acting on the universally profound “good sense and the ideals, written into our founding documents” that your editorial mentions. But even in the creation of our own Constitution our founding fathers failed to abide by these very ‘self-evident truths’. That cost more American lives than World War I and II combined. And our nation still suffers repercussions of that prejudiced decision today.
Our political leaders had another chance to move the world in the right direction after World War I. But they refrained from advocating for these same ‘self-evident’ truths at the creation of the League of Nations. That gave us Hitler and second World War. Then, after the horrors of WW II, US political leaders failed again when Eleanor Roosevelt’s guidance gave the world the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Our political leaders preferred retaining our ‘sovereign right’ to disregard human rights wherever, whenever, and for whomever, for serving our ‘national interests’. They helped create the UN system that essentially codifying this same horrific national freedom to every nation. That paved the way for the Cold War (World War III?) with rampant human rights abuses spread worldwide.
And now, that gross global injustice of states’ rights over human rights has given us the chaotic world we have today. Some consider the global war against terrorism endless and arguably World War IV.
A journalist once asked Albert Einstein ‘what weapons would WW III be fought with?’ Einstein said he “didn’t know”, but was certain that “WW IV would be fought with Sticks and stones”.
Little did he know that the ‘sticks and stones’ would be our own technologies turned against us. From car bombs to confiscated air liners, from computers to biotechnology, and eventually robotics and nanotechnology, security is increasingly an illusion. And, now the potential renewal of the Cold War, with multiple superpower nations and extremists groups yielding weapon systems far beyond anything imaginable decades ago.
So today US political leaders from both parties continue to endorse a US military policy abroad that operates on only one ‘truth’ that is ‘self-evident’ to them only. That collateral damage is OK as long as it innocent people are not murdered intentionally. Imagine how well that ‘truth’ would be received here if our military or our police started using the Predator and Reaper drones to target ‘suspected terrorists’ or other mass murder ‘suspects’ here within our own borders.
Trump will not save us from the accelerating global forces (war, terrorism, refugees, infectious diseases, recessions, climate disruptions, cyber-attacks, WMD proliferation…) that are mostly immune to any type of wall on the Mexico border. What he, Congress and the Supreme Court must to understand AND act on, is the profound words inscribed into the granite exterior of the U.S. Department of Justice: JUSTICE IS FOUND IN THE RIGHTS BESTOWED BY NATURE UPON MAN. LIBERTY IS MAINTAINED IN SECURITY OF JUSTICE.
For millenniums wise souls have touted the ageless and practical ideal of ‘justice for all’. In the Bible Jesus saw it as “the golden rule”. Today, it is essential to sustaining what your editorial called for in its conclusion “our faith in our common humanity, as well as peace on earth as we move into the future.