Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse, the events of this week bring us to a new level of danger in America. Two more police shootings involving African-American men followed by snipers opening fire on Dallas police during a Black Lives Matter rally overnight have ratcheted up the tension to a 1968-type scenario. And just like in '68, there is a vacuum of leadership that could make it even worse.
Honestly, who right now could step up and call for an end to this cycle and have all of the parties involved--and every citizen--say to themselves "Wow, we need to heed this person's clarion call!"? Who would not be accused of just "fanning the flames"? Who would not be criticized for "not caring until it was white police officers killed"? Who would not be called a "racist" or a "reverse racist"? Who would not be accused of "trying to take guns away from law-abiding citizens" or "ignoring the epidemic of gun violence in this country"?
Who would be afforded the opportunity to calmly discuss possible solutions to our deep divides on all of the cable news channels? Whose answers would not have every phrase parsed, scrutinized and taken out of context every hour on the hour by a myriad of "reporters" claiming to know "what they really meant"? Who would get the talk show hosts to admit to being wrong or to being too reactionary or off base with their assertions?
One would like to think the President could be that person--but that ship sailed years ago. Those running to replace him certainly aren't the ones to do it. Who doesn't have "inflammatory" blog posts on the internet or tweets to come back and haunt them? Who isn't already carrying labels or party affiliations? Who doesn't have campaign contributions from the 'wrong people"--or backed those who are now "part of the problem"?
So who is the person to bring us back together again and move us toward solutions? And would we listen to that person anyway?