Its hard not to reflect back on things you remember on a holiday like this one. I was in my real formative years when the two Kennedys and Martin Luther King were all assassinated. Those were difficult days in this country-great unrest and huge changes in our society were taking place. The newspapers of my youth were full of civil rights protests, Viet Nam reports, and youthful dissidence everywhere. There was so much happening it was like a whirlwind and I totally understand now why my parents and others of the WWII generation were confused and afraid of what they saw happening around them. To me it was just normal - it was all I'd ever known.
Of course Martin Luther King was not beloved by all in the years leading up to his death and many saw him as a "rabble rouser". But in hindsight we all know he was an important figure in a time when his presence and influence was very much needed.
It's interesting to me that this week his holiday coincides with the week of the presidential inauguration that's so divisive too. I'm the one who's fearful now, just as my parents were before me. I hope and pray that the balance of power that our forefathers set up will hold the line and keep us safe, but I'm not sure. I hope we're not entering into another period of great unrest here because they are hard to live through.
One of the most interesting things to me about this recent election is that I've lived through dozens of them now, each one with some voters being happy and some not. That's the way it goes in a democratic process. But never have I seen the level of fear, and anger, and real concern as I see now. I'm a pretty moderate person politically and I've voted for both republicans and democrats in my life, but never have I distrusted and worried so much about an outcome before. Whether or not my choice won was never so important. This time I am afraid. And I see so many posts on Facebook about how "liberals are sore losers" or similar name calling. But I know because of my own conservative leanings that this is not a "liberal" or "conservative" thing. This is an integrity thing. This is fear for our country being led by an immature, narcissistic, egomaniac that will be in a position to take us to bad places.
Where are our Martin Luther Kings when we need them? Because we need real leadership now.