Observing the fifth annual American assessment day: explicating the current status of our republic

On Saturday the 5th of October we at the Fund For An Equitable America joined with many others throughout this nation in observing the 5th annual American assessment day’s agenda.  Those who participate in this evaluation devote the morning of this date to the formulation of a 12 month calendar of prospective patronage of those commercial enterprises in the United States whose operational policies and practices are equitable, sustainable, and enlightened.

 Moreover these corporations reflect in an intrinsic manner the elevation of concerns and priorities beyond the generation of income and corporate profitability that stimulate and enhance the economic welfare and other beneficent quality-of-life influences that exist in those communities which they serve

The exercise that absorbs the afternoon period of this day is reserved for an examination of those sources of interpersonal friction or convlict that exist within the individual nuclear families who undertake this effort, for the purpose of fashioning and implementing various alterations of these patterns that will alleviate the discomfort and resentments they produce, and usher in a vast improvement in the emotional environment from which all will benefit and evolve.

Thus the hemispheres of macro political and economic dimensions of life and the micro interpersonal are investigated and modified in order to achieve in both realms an existence which augments the quotient of social and economic justice in our nation, as well as a significant improvement within those critical human dynamics our personal lives reflect and the lives of those who are our most intimate relations.

Beyond these considerations we continue as a society to be imprisoned in an existential struggle that is becoming ever more intense and brutal, in which one component of this adversarial conflict  requires the maintenance of a social structure in which the ascendancy of a Caucasian patriarchy and Christian theology  and all that flows from that reality regarding the allocation of wealth and political efficacy.

Their opponents who argue in the name of equity and the fulfillment of those promises contained in the enunciations of our founding fathers regarding equality of opportunity, and demand the acknowledgement of those injustices of slavery and genocide whose legacies have produced those discriminatory practices and inequities that remain current impediments to the realization of these cherished ideals

We have since the election of 2016 witnessed the intrusion of foreign powers into our electoral processes; an escalating antagonism between the executive and congressional branches of our government as the result of  the 2018 midterm election and the ascendancy  of a robust Democratic majority in the House of Representatives; and most recently the introduction into our national political dialogue of an impeachment inquiry that whatever its ultimate result will exacerbate the tensions and fissures that are extant.

In the final analysis the question which our populace must confront in the period which extends beyond this date to that moment in approximately thirteen months when next we cast our ballots, is whether we possess the capacity to accomplish the creation of a political consensus and the policy and programmatic consequences that emanate from that determination to in some fundamental regard maintain elements of those normative and structural realities that are ascendant in our society at this moment, and the equally crucial requirement to achieve a sufficiently expansive modification of those institutions  that can incorporate the wishes and legitimate aspirations of so many among our populace who are the victims of inequality and discrimination and impoverishment.

Should we demonstrate a lack of capacity for this endeavor and in a state of unyielding obdurateness refuse to engage in those discussions and that dialogue which demand compromise, mutual respect, and a capacity for the empathetic consideration of opposing viewpoints and values, we will as a democratic polity that has endured for  almost 250 years begin the irreversible decomposition that will ultimately usher in irreconcilable civil strife or an equally pernicious eventuality; an authoritarian state and the incipient embrace of this society by the irretrievable dynamic of fascism.

Tragically, in this the autumn of 2019  is where our republic is situated on a terrain of mire and decomposition which if not arrested will crumble, and if it does the hopes and benevolent future inherent in a structure and process of democratic governance will evaporate as well.  My fervent hope is that we shall as a nation come to our senses and address this most urgent national challenge before the voices of intransigence and nihilism drown out a rational dialogue that can if we chose to embrace this imperative conversation, act as an antidote to our society’s dissolution.

America’s Tech moguls Are Derelict In Their Patriotic Duty

At this moment throughout the 10,000 voting jurisdictions that exist in this nation virtually all of them suffer from deficient technology and antiquated software and as a result are vulnerable to cyber attacks upon their accuracy and reliability that foreign or domestic actors will assuredly  mount.

This horrifying reality presents the potential to subvert our most cherished constitutional privilege and extinguish our noble experiment in representative democracy that has endured for more than two centuries.

In a previous era of collaboration and negotiation the imperative solutions to this impending catastrophe would be hammered out in a process of bi-partisan compromise that would provide the funding and technical expertise this endeavor requires. Tragically, the current political environment is so divisive and awash in conflict and animosity that these remedies for this challenge to will not be forthcoming from this arena.

To those who have greeted the announcement by Senator McConnell that he would support the appropriation of 250 million dollars to mitigate the current extensive vulnerabilities to which our  2020 electoral cycle is currently exposed, the reality of what is being proffered by the Majority Leader is nothing more than in exercise in political subterfuge.

For in the absence of any specific requirements to dictate the precise manner  in which these funds must be expended to protect the security and integrity of our looming national plebiscite (and no such provisions are contained within this prospective legislative appropriation) this is yet another deceitful gesture that does virtually nothing to protect our citizens from the intrusion and potential alteration of those ballots we cast in a scant 13 months from this date.

Thus, at this moment the exclusive salvation to this lethal challenge to our democracy inheres in those mammoth technology companies in Silicon Valley and elsewhere . They posses the expertise, technology, and  financial resources to ensure the integrity of democracy administration.

Sadly, as of this date these corporate behemoths who deliver the technology and services that are weaponized against our nation have  demonstrated a complete indifference to avert this prospective disaster.

Now is the moment for those individuals who have  profited so greatly from the opportunities our nation has furnished  to repay the debt they have incurred as the result of those benefits.

I am calling upon those CEO’s who provide leadership to these entities to convene a summit of  colleagues from the relevant technology companies to devise a strategic plan to address what can be accomplished in the short term to ensure the integrity and security of the 2020 election and in the longer term for elections thereafter. This plan should address both campaigns and electioneering as well as election administration and voting.

The happy circumstance is that many of the elements to construct this model already exist and may be found in organizations  such  as the OSET Institute, The Verified Voting Foundation,  and the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU, and at other organizations  such as Microsoft, who have begun exhibiting  patriotic leadership in responding to these challenges. The technical capabilities and the consulting expertise of these companies can significantly reduce the various vulnerabilities to which our archaic systems of election administration are currently subject.

These technology behemoths should collaborate with these defenders of our democracy as part of their summit to develop a holistic plan that would also confront the vulnerabilities and unintended consequences their social media platforms exhibit today. This multi-faceted agenda of innovation cannot commence or succeed unless those with the capability to accomplish it provide the critical resources to do so.

In addition to the preceding efforts these companies must immediately activate a cybersecurity triage initiative as a central element of the protective shield they will deploy prior to the 2020 electoral cycle.

Should you fail to heed your country’s desperate summons and neglect to assume this imperative responsibility such inaction may well induce the failure of our grand experiment in representative democracy.  Should that catastrophic  fate befall us it will become impossible for us to recover from that cataclysmic event because in this context “fail fast” is a totally impotent antidote.

America awaits your response and fervently wishes you to demonstrate your patriotism by undertaking this monumental challenge that no other segment of our society is capable of meeting.