Our America Today:
Wars. Up to 21st century, all have been physical & easy to identify. Physical destruction, human injury, death, weapons of destruction, planes, bombers, arms.
People have talked about World War 4 as being a nuclear war. Actually, a nuclear war in this era will be World War Last. Why? Too many states possess nukes. America, Russia, N Korea, China, Pakistan, India, likely Israel & possibly Iran. Once this starts, there'll be no going back. No braking mechanism. The world today is not the world of the first nukes of 70 years ago.
So what? I believe America is already involved in World War 3. Not at all obvious: no physical destruction like in Syria; no deaths; no physical injuries; no physical weapons involvement.
But, World War 3 is far more insidious. This war is totally psychological. Changing mind sets. Unleashing the demons within each of us. Dividing us & turning us within America against each other. Changing & destroying the fabric of America that has been built & nourished over decades and generations. An America that has been built by the sacrifices of generations of female & male Patriots.
All those sacrifices will be lost if Our America turns into an authoritarian, totalitarian, fascist regime that dictates our lives. We've seen this turning in 2017.
America has an unstable President with no real values, no world view, and no policy foundations. A person who has demonstrated a sleazeball personality for his entire life. On who declares bankruptcy for personal gain. One who enriches himself & family in the Presidency. One whose financial ties are a three dimensional spider web of cross connections, many with unseemly and criminal elements. There are reports that he and a number of cohorts have been compromised.
The President has filled a few high level government jobs with people who have vested interests in the areas they're in charge of! And many are fully incompetent. The word that appropriately and perfectly describes this so-called 'administration' is kakistocracy: A kakistocracy is a country run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens coined by Thomas Love Peacock in 1829.
We've also seen the turning of America in 2016. The SCOTUS decision on Citizens United in 2010 unleashed an environment where huge sums of money can effectively buy elections by the highest bidder. Huge sums of money into campaign PACs, control, buy or at least influence politicians, more than lobbyists. The concept of 'government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.' by John Wycliffe in 1384 and quoted in Lincoln's Gettysburg address has been lost, apparently forever.
It is clear that Russia interfered with our election process. Russia hacked into a number of states election authorities & was able to access/download data. Russia apparently used sophisticated psychological messaging to influence voters. Social media was used, along with millions of fake accounts, to spread false & misleading information as fake news. There was a concerted effort to suppress voters. Key social media platforms like Twitter & Facebook are unconcerned about the takeovers of their platforms by fake accounts and bots.
These 'active measures' are solely intended to weaken America, weaken our resolve and make Americans more compliant with autocratic thinking. To suit their purposes.
There is anecdotal evidence that companies linked to Russia & likely the GOP created huge databases of psychological profiles of Americans to be used in targeting very specific spot-on messages to small groups of people to influence their votes. These companies are reported to have been involved in influencing the Brexit vote, making this a world war.
I have been using the phrases 'turning point' and more precisely, 'the point of no return' as it applies to climate change. We see it happening. Some don't believe its caused by humans, even with the overwhelming body of evidence. The idea is that by the time we & the world recognize, accept & change our behavior, we may be past the point of no return. A point that, no matter what we all do to mitigate it, we will not be able to reverse it. Then, the descent increases rapidly to a disastrous end. This reverse bell shaped curve illustrates the concept.
Has America's political history reached this point already? Certainly a possibility. There is little to no statesmanship in the vein of Everett Dirksen. There is no negotiating, no compromising, positions hardening, violence being encouraged, constant disagreements. Rational thought seems a thing of the past. Civility is gone.
What can be done? Clearly, there are few easy answers, nor quick fixes, to Save Our America. But here's my idea of a start.
Ø America needs a program with some bipartisan leaders that begin to cool the rhetoric & demonstrate a role model for people to identify with and emulate. They need to lead Americans to start thinking of America First. Issues second. They need to demonstrate good faith compromise & negotiation.
Ø America needs to immediately add civics standardized and mandatory curriculums in every school which need to include these topics:
o American history. Why we exist.
o Other forms of governments, pros & cons.
o Respect. Yourself & others.
o Continuing civics
o Our Constitution, bill of rights, amendments
o Conflict resolution
o Cultural differences.
o Tolerance, of others & different ideas
o Working w/ others, teamwork
o Resolving problems & differences
o How to compromise & why it's important
o World political systems, what each brings
o What a democracy is & what it means
o Hazing, bullying & why it's damaging
o Ways to de-escalate arguments, over-reacting
o Critical thinking
This education needs to begin in first grade and go through high school. Portion topics out as they build on each other. And this needs to continue throughout college. Some will say there isn't time for these additions. Look at where America is today without this education.
Ø America needs to immediately ramp up defenses in many areas, not just elections, but that is crucial.
Ø America needs to analyze infrastructure to harden it from hackers. An example is an eastern US company that provides equipment that directly links to our power grid.....owned by a Russian with a questionable background.
Ø America needs to pursue exactly what occurred to our election apparatus & harden it to prevent a repeat occurrence from 2016. These attacks will only get more blatant & deeper into our votes. That will include flipping votes. Our opposition has been using what they've already learned to improve their future 'active measures'. Do not doubt this.
Ø America needs to restrict the number of people & contractors who have access to our highest levels of secrets. We need to review & harden the storage of our secrets. And we need to increase our investments in counter intelligence AND find ways to reestablish our previously close ties to other states intelligence operations.
Ø America needs to find more some true patriots who have the skills for hacking. As this is a war, America needs to be able to gain superiority in & using the tools of this war.
Ø America needs to build our own absolutely necessary war apparatus with our own active measures in psychological messaging, disinformation & disruption.
This is very tall order of needs. And far from complete. But America is now engaged in World War 3. Recognize it and Act.
America needs to re-find the will and the means to return America back to Our America that has been built, nurtured and sacrificed for over our entire history. Let's get started. There is no time to lose. And hope and pray that Our America is not already past the point of no return.