Taking proactive steps

Reflecting on our rancorous ride towrds the future

Our View

There is no clever lead that will describe Jan. 6, as well as the week that followed, better than the following: the insurrection that occurred on the steps and inside the very halls of the U.S. Capitol will send shockwaves.
Long into that Wednesday night, Americans found themselves huddled around their televisions and hunched over their phones, news outlets as necessary as breathing. As we scrolled, scanned and stressed, we searched between the lines of each update delivered for not just an understanding of the attack’s size and scope, but for the answer we are still trying to determine days later: what does this mean for tomorrow?
We at The Tower believe that, in the face of both a national fission and crisis alike, we must reflect upon how our ideological differences influence our treatment of others and how our legacies as neighbors and citizens will be looked upon generations from now.
The argument against “giving in” to partisanship and political polarization has been long touted under the guise of togetherness, creating a Frankenstein’s monster of an idea that the answer to political turmoil is overlooking our differences.
Differences, in the most extreme sense of the word, are what incited anarchists to desecrate democracy. We in good conscience cannot advise others to ignore this fact.
However, it should not be misunderstood that what separates us law-abiding Americans, those who possess both hope and humility, from the perpetrators of the siege is party alignment. Placing the blame on an entire party, rather than the responsible individuals, merely serves to drive attention away from and minimize the consequences of their individual, radical actions. And yet, failing to recognize how politics fueled said actions only serves to blind America’s citizens to the sincerely flawed nature of our systems of leadership.
Thus, today, we are left with a dichotomy. How do we balance condemning independent terrorists and calling for change within the structures that empowered them– all while trying to move forward from a day of such horror and injustice towards a newly inaugurated President?
We are witnessing America at its most exhausted, depraved and degraded. Having spent a majority of the past year carried along for the rancorous ride of the presidential “fit,” we are the ones most intimately affected by the actions of and against our own government. The past year has repeatedly emphasized that change starts at the individual level, particularly when change itself fails to emerge in spaces of authority, but solitude accomplishes nothing. In saying this, the answer to today’s, tomorrow’s and the future’s inevitable conflict is not unity itself, but steps towards it.
Early unity means preventing others’ beliefs from harming others’ realities.
Early unity means using disappointment and “close-calls” as conversation starters, not ammunition.
Early unity means looking to Jan. 6 not as a surprise, but as a harbinger of democracy unkempt.