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The Crises From Within; America’s Democracy At Stake

To Democrats, Republicans, Independents–the citizens of the United States, the left, right, and everyone in between, please push the pause button and think!! These past few years–particularly this past year–our way of life, which is governed by the Constitution of the United States is under siege; from both the left and right wings of the political spectrum.

The rhetoric, violence, civil disobedience and lawlessness seem to be out of control. From the violence in our cities, which includes rioting, the destruction of property and needless killings, to the violence which was generated during the invasion of our congressional building in Washington D.C, which also included needless killings, this must stop!

The animosity of hate rhetoric, retaliation, false information and accusations between the congressional and executive branches must cease. The welfare of the nation they were elected to protect must be first and foremost on their agenda. We, as citizens of the United States, must also consider our reactions to what is going on. Asking, am I an accessory to what is happening?

The price that has been paid for our freedom goes back a long way to the nation’s founding fathers who created the Constitution. Our nation has survived the Revolutionary, the Civil, Indian, World War I, World War II, Vietnam and wars that are continuing today; the Great depression in the 1930s, numerous pandemics like COVID-19 and the list could go on. Why would we want to jeopardize the very system that has brought us through these catastrophes’?

I come from a large family of rural farmers from the state of Illinois. My father was born in 1898 and passed away in 1998. My mother and father raised eight children, six boys and two girls. All six boys served in the military, three of which served in World War II and saw actual combat, one who landed in the second wave of infantry on Omaha Beach on D-day, one flew 65 missions out of North Africa as a gunner on a B-25 bomber and one fought in the retaking of the Philippines. Of the six boys, I was the only one that made the military my profession being in the Air Force for 22 years. I enlisted in the Air Force in November 1957 and retired in April 1979. My brother that was on Omaha Beach had his oldest son killed in Vietnam in 1970. In my carrier I served three years in North Africa (1959-1962) and one year in Bangkok, Thailand (1967-1968). My carrier included the Vietnam War and to this day, I still see the aftermath and remember how our service people were treated during that conflict. My youngest son and his wife have served in the Air Force and I have a granddaughter serving now in South Korea.

I understand what it means to stand for the defense of our nation which is governed by the Constitution of the United States. If we want to continue our way of life, we must consider our actions and work together to protect our freedom.

Because we are human, none of us are perfect. But we were created to have the ability to work together for the common good. The founding fathers understood the frailty of the human character, thus, the writing of the constitution to provide us with a set of democratic laws governing our actions to protect our freedom. We do not want to take that away.

To the Executive Branch I say, this is no time to be using inflaming rhetoric to dispute a congressional certified election by congress.

To the Congressional Branch I say, this is no time to be impeaching a president with a few days left in office.

To those who incite and participate in the demonstrations of violence, destruction and murder, both from the left and right, you are tearing down the very system that has protected you and your freedoms. Consider what you are doing!

To the general public, let us work, encourage and live in such a way that cherishes and reflects the freedoms that are granted to us through our system of government.

Darrell McKee is a retired master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force and a Lakewood resident.

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