A dream morphs into a nightmare

Recently, in the darkness on the night, I had a dream that promised a bright day. In the large chamber of the United States Congress, the president delivered his State of the Union address. The atmosphere was tense, even fearful, as if nobody could be sure what might happen. The president projected that the State of the Union was good because of him. However, his insecurity was evident by the claim that everything was as perfect as he. Nevertheless, the politicians of the other party hated him, devalued his wonderful accomplishments and even wanted to get rid of him. Therefore, they were enemies of the country and did not deserve any respect. He reassured the citizens that once he would be absolved of the unfair accusations of the impeachment, he would take absolute charge to save the country.

But then something miraculous happened. He softened his voice and calmly said: “I know, I have caused a lot of trouble to you congressmen and senators, as well as to the citizens you represent, but I just could not help it. Therefore, I resign the presidency right here and now, and sign my decision on a piece of paper. I ask the Chief Justice and the Speaker to be the witnesses to that. Then, right here, the Chief Justice could swear in the vice president as the next president of the United States.” Thunderous applause broke out in the chamber expressing both admiration and thankful relief.

My hope was that this would end the pervasive acrimony that has poisoned the atmosphere of the country. People would interact with each other without fear and suspicion and would not allow differences of opinion to label others as enemies. Instead, they would reaffirm that they are Americans first (above political and other affiliations) who strive for the common goal of the betterment of this still imperfect union established through the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. People might advocate different means and methods to improve the health and functionality of the society, but they would agree that people are more important than material goods and money (just the way they, hopefully, order the priorities within their families). In other words, they would consider technology and money (even as part of a capitalistic enterprise) as means toward including everybody in a physically and emotionally healthy, ethically guided and well-educated, humanistic and just society. (Justice means that everybody receives appropriate health and educational services to foster their individual potentials.)

Along with the above, they would come to recognize that urgent efforts have to be invested in saving the ailing Mother Earth. Her life-giving and life-sustaining capacities are already declining. People, particularly the young, would consider that they are integral and in many ways controlling part (like the brain) of this living organism, Mother Earth, and therefore, ethically charged with special responsibilities. In other words, people would realize that they live on the same ship to which there is no alternative. Humanity survives or sinks together.

When I woke up in the morning, I painfully and sadly realized that it was not the hoped-for bright day. I had merely a dream that expressed my hopes and wishes. Of course, as we all should know, dreams can turn into reality. It is up to us.

ANTAL E. SOLYOM

Lynchburg

A new delegate’s learning curve

Gosh, Del. Wendell Walker may be more aligned with my views than I realized.

First, he voted for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Oopsie — pushed the wrong button.

Then he introduced a bill to remove the statue of Harry Byrd Sr. from Capitol Square in Richmond because he was a Democrat. Oopsie — he was a racist Democrat, so we need to let it remain.

It’s a steep learning curve for poor Wendell. Maybe my vote last November wasn’t so misguided after all.

NEAL SUMERLIN

Lynchburg

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