Local Commentary

Editorial: Civil, Compassionate Identity of F.C.

We’ve been seeing across the Potomac this year what political and ballot box decisions based on selfish-self interest produces. Angry prejudice against “persons unlike ourselves,” based on race, religion, ethnicity, disabilities and economic status produces the kind of fiasco that the White House and Republicans on the Hill walked into this Tuesday.

It needs to be stressed that ownership of this mess for the GOP belongs to the GOP leadership, and not to some unfortunate accidental circumstances. That leadership allowed and abetted the rise of racial hatred during the Obama years, thinking that it would only help them win elections. The more civil among those leaders sought plausible deniability and separation from this ugly phenomenon, but they’re as fully responsible for it as any rabid alt-right radical, and they know it.

The pathway toward a new American majority that is going to exclude all those tainted and unrepentant by this mess can be found in ordinary appeals to civility, cooperation and compassion. It’s not that hard.

America’s corporate elites, and their oligarchical friends in Russia, are simply going to have to pull back from this failed approach and reboot, or else they will be swept over by a new mass movement here that they won’t be able to control. That’s right, there will be revolution. There won’t be any precedent, but there also will be no holding it back. So far, the financial institutions of Wall Street have been by and large insulated from the ferment that has been stirring in 2017, but the November 2018 midterm elections could change that big time. There could be a massive redistribution of wealth in this country, which is exactly what we need.

Meanwhile, simple things symbolic of this holiday season, like the Falls Church City Council’s adoption of a proclamation designating Martin Luther King Day next month as a “Day of Service,” sets the right tone, and is a useful educational tool for “revolutionaries” of all ages, sizes and shapes.

The proclamation says that Falls Church “is a welcoming and respectful place for people of all faiths, all races, all cultures, all sexual orientations, and all backgrounds.”

This community “wishes to reaffirm the long-standing community values of equality, inclusion and diversity,” “always taking a strong stand in opposition to discrimination against any.” The Council “encourages positive action to combat intolerance,” embracing Dr. King’s assertion that “life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?, and affirms that “ordinary citizens, armed with compassion and a willingness to serve, can come together to change the world and pursue the nation’s highest ideals.”

Signed by Mayor David Tarter, the proclamation naming January 15, 2018 the “City of Falls Church Day of Service” encourages “all citizens to observe this day with appropriate civic, community and service projects in honor of Dr. King and to affirm our City’s commitment to the values of equality, inclusion and diversity.”