Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Moral Authority of Emma Gonzalez

The moral leader of this country seems to be a 17-year old named Emma Gonzalez.

Along with a small army of outraged and grief-stricken juniors and seniors from Parkland, Florida, Gonzalez has managed to accomplish what no one over 17 years of age has been able to do: She has parted a sea of rhetoric, propaganda, politics, and evil-robot mischief that has prevented the U.S. from taking one single step toward reasonable gun control policy.

Since Trump took office, with all his bizarre cronies, our country has been ethically rudderless.  His government has proven, time and again, on various fronts, that it is operating in a moral vacuum.

Most of the world, including our allies, are having to try to save the planet without us. Because our government does not care about the environment. It turns a blind eye to climate change. It does not care about the condition of the planet. It does not care about polar bears, or whether Manhattan and Miami fall into the ocean. It certainly does not care about Puerto Rico. It does not care about our children's or our grandchildren's future. And it does not care that our kids are being terrorized and mowed down by AR-15 guns in their schools.

Our government leadership is operating in a moral vacuum.

Fortunately, nature abhors a vacuum.

When I heard Emma Gonzalez speak on tv, I believed that her words could actually turn back the red tide of moral atrophy and create a path forward from this terrible tragedy.

She did her homework and got the facts right.  She had no agenda, except to right the wrongs that should have been corrected in the 1970s [ "11 School Shootings that Took Place Before Columbine"]. She spoke truth to power through tears of grief and moral outrage.

The shooting took place in the freshman building at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.  Like big brothers and sisters, the juniors and seniors at Stoneman Douglas are taking up the mantle of adulthood--doing everything within their awesome power and moral authority to ensure that the younger kids did not die in vain, and that such horrors will not be visited upon other kids again.

The way older siblings do, in families without responsible grownups, these seniors and juniors have appointed themselves the fierce champions of the younger kids.

Certainly no politician can pretend to have an iota of leverage against their moral authority.

I have no doubt that history has spoken. And it has spoken through the words and grief of Emma Gonzalez and all of the other big sisters and brothers at Stoneman Douglas High School.

These "kids" are going to lead us out of this ethical miasma, toward a more sane and caring society.

Because nature abhors a vacuum. And enough is enough.

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