Thoughts Prompted by Turning on the Television Last Evening

I turned on the news last evening. The newscaster / commentator was interviewing a Canadian political scientist. I didn’t have the sound on, and didn’t need to because a banner headline summarized what the political scientist was saying: “America could soon be a dictatorship.” I switched the channel to a football game, not because I didn’t think what this fellow was saying was very possible, but because I could guess what he was saying -– I’ve been following the news that closely. By the time the football players were occupying the screen, running through my mind for about the 500th time this year (and the year is still young) were lines from Yeats’s poem “The Second Coming”:

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold,
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world . . .

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Thankfully, many of the best don’t lack all conviction. There are a lot of well positioned people who are working energetically to keep our country from falling under authoritarian rule. The banner headline on that newscast might just as well have read; “America could soon show that it will not let itself become a dictatorship.”