David DeWitt: Let’s work, let’s be extraordinary |

Every day, fundamental democratic institutions come under sustained assault as a corrupt, right-wing extremist tyranny reigns over Ohio politics and politics.

As important as it is to chronicle the “first draft of the story” by finding the facts and holding power to account, the American cultural zeitgeist demands more.

It requires a constructive vision of what we could do with these precious tools of our constitutional republic if we cast off the artificial self-destructive shackles of amoral self-interest, hatred and division that hold us back.

Freedom is not only the freedom to serve oneself and to do what one wants: it is the freedom of everyone in a society to exist and coexist in dignity, to participate fully in self-governance, to be equally protected by law… to have the same legal rights and opportunities afforded to all others.

This is the central theme of what democratic autonomy is supposed to achieve: the interests of the people in the form of representative governance.

In many cases, we have made great progress. But America has always made progress despite a menacing weight threatening to drag it underwater with every high tide, with much of the country panting for free breath.

Imagine if we… went on and did That Great American Thing and boldly built an extraordinary civilization for the 21st century, worthy of our best angels: our intelligence, our ingenuity, our diversity, our egalitarianism, our productivity, our perseverance and our pride. in our neighborhoods and communities.

Over the past 30 years, the Internet and digital technology have completely transformed our world, enabling near-instantaneous mass communication and information sharing on a global scale. We may take it for granted every day, but that doesn’t make this fundamental shift in the very nature of our lives and societies any less amazing.

We can fly. Thanks to two brothers from Dayton, humanity has mastered the air and we are able to fly around the world in less than 48 hours. Crossing the Alps for an ancient Roman legion took a good part of the year.

Earlier this year, we sent our largest, most advanced and most powerful telescope ever – the James Webb – 1 million miles from Earth to peer into deep space and the long history of space. ‘universe. It may even be able to detect alien agriculture.

We changed the course of science by unraveling the human genome. We have incredibly extended our lifespans thanks to advances in medicine and medical technology, from antibiotics and antivirals to organ transplants and magnetic resonance imaging.

We deconstructed biological processes, elements, and relativity, and began, very slowly, to understand the amazing implications of quantum theory.

We have discovered and largely reconstructed the deep history of the stars, the Sun, the planets, the Earth and of ourselves – humanity – including our oldest civilizations and societies, as well as our primitive ancestors long before them .

In short, we have accomplished too much to be continually swept away by the primal forces of fear, ordering us to erect barricades around our minds, take up arms against each other, and go to hand-to-hand combat with our fellow citizens on toilets and pronouns.

We are better than that. Or maybe I should say, we can be so much better than that.

Our fundamental systems of governance are more than sufficient to build the crowning glory of 21st century civilization.

We must cleanse the toxins in the blood of our body politic and move towards a vision of something equitable, just, green, sustainable and prosperous for all of us, freed from the yoke of tyrannical self-interest imposed by the few. .

Every generation must face the fundamental decision between the ever-present forces of contempt, hatred, division, paranoia, self-interest, lies and duplicity, and the forces of shared destiny, mutual interest, common purpose, cooperation, tolerance, dignity, humility, moral ethics and community.

We need to take care of ourselves and make so many decisions, big and small, every day… care about truth and honesty, and act ethically with compassion, in our family lives, in our relationships, in our business and community decisions, and in our policy.

We have the choice between fear and love. We must choose wisely.

Maria D. Ervin