The silence of the majority ought not to be tolerated for one moment longer. . .
By Andrew Lidden Pate
It seems only fitting that it was Richard Nixon who popularized the phrase, when on November 3, 1969, in a televised address on Vietnam, he said, "to you, the great silent majority of my fellow Americans—I ask for your support."
In his address Nixon sought public backing for his "pursuit for peace" plan, which, in a few words, set forth the gradual withdrawal of American and Allied troops from Vietnam.
Yet the war waged on and did not officially end until April 30, 1975.
Still, Nixon had heard the harsh expressions of anger and mistrust coming from his "fellow Americans," and he responded with the plan and the plea contained in his 1969 address.
Up to that point, for most of two decades--through the tenures of DDE, JFK and LBJ, a Unified American Voice had not been heard. But over those years Americans had listened to the lies they'd been told in disbelief, been made painfully aware of the ever-increasing number of causalities and the sheer horror of the war, not to mention the stories that had come home to them about dishonorable conduct on the part of their soldiers—and most Americans had at last decided they wanted the war to end and their service men and women to be brought home.
"Make love not war." "Bring them home!" These and other anti-war sentiments were increasingly heard. Draft eligibles were escaping to Canada and elsewhere. So it was, that in1969 anti-war protests could no longer be silenced.
Today, once again the Unified American voice has been muted, or, at best, reduced to rather inconsequential mumbling. Forget about "draining the swamp." We need to find a way for our Unified voice to escape from the backwaters.
To be sure, some columnists and a handful of politicians are attempting to speak out on behalf of their fellow Americans. But they are not heard, not really.
Instead, the voices of Wall Street and Donald Trump dominate. (Some say, they are one and the same.) They control Congress. They control the news cycles. They define what is true. And to put it bluntly, nothing they say echoes in any meaningful way the Mighty Voice of America's greatness, the Voice that declares justice and equality for all, that welcomes strangers, that speaks tenderly of caring for children and the less unfortunate—the Voice that demands Truth over every lie.
No! Wall street and Trump drown out every bit of our American Goodness, as though their solitary aim is to purge Goodness from among us.
But even those who are trying in vain to speak with our One American Voice, they are not Us. They are not We the people. And it is Our One voice that must be heard in every medium and in every place where the sounds and impact of our words can be understood and shared— through the social media, in conversation with our friends and family members, via messaging—in every way!
Is it possible?
Maybe not. But we must try. We must shout . . . if we are to be heard.