There are a lot of idioms that are used in the English language today. One that you may commonly hear is “it is always darkest before dawn.”
That phrase means that things always seem worse before they get better. The English theologian and historian Thomas Fuller coined the idiom, which was his way of saying that everything will improve at some time but we may have to go through something terrible first. That was in 1650, and now, in 2021, we continue to look for hope in the dawn of a new day.
Never has the phrase, “a new day in America,” had greater meaning. We live in challenging, changing times, and new obstacles seem to arise daily. Obstacles for some, and opportunities for others.
But is it always darkest just before dawn? That question is best answered depending on your expectations.
For traditionalists or constitutionalists, a picture could be painted, of entering a phase of historic “darkness,” where dawn becomes more elusive. The darkness may last longer.
We ignored the little things. Until they became big things.
A peaceful protest here or there. Nothing big. But then, it was big. It was no longer peaceful. Riots, burning, looting. Police were not only helpless to serve and protect, they were “ordered” to stand down by the leaders of the cities being vandalized. Don’t make waves. Let them get it out of their system.
But the riots became more violent. The destruction more, well, destructive.
Then it spread, like the fires they set, from city to city. Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Chicago, New York City, Trenton, Baltimore, Washington DC, Atlanta. It just kept spreading.
Police were under attack. Literally billions of dollars of police equipment destroyed, up in flames. That didn’t begin to approach the property and business loss. Then the cries came to defund the police. Many police departments in many cities suffered massive budgetary cutbacks.
It was/is classic textbook Marxism. Separate and divide. Cause turmoil, where none exist. Racism, for many years, was finally fading from our lexicon. We were becoming color blind. After all, we had elected a black man president of the country. Not once but twice. Many elected leaders, in our houses of Congress, and in our state houses, are African American.
Then, in 2016, we elected a new president, a businessman, who, in three years had not only created the best economy our country had known in almost a century, but had also created the highest employment among African Americans, in our history. The same was true for Hispanics.
But now, we are being divided by a new cry of racism. New words and expressions began to roll off the tongues and lips of many in the media and academia. White privilege, white supremacy. Cancel culture. Slavery reparations, and more.
Monuments that had stood in city squares for hundreds of years were suddenly signs of a racist past. Even our heroes, who fought and died to preserve equal rights and equal opportunities for all, were suddenly being eliminated.
A strange thing has happened in many of our cities and states. Governors, mayors, judges, district attorneys have begun to “reinterpret” laws. Prosecutors stopped prosecuting some, and judges stopped incarcerating those who were prosecuted, electing to just release them back on the streets, where they offend again.
But there is more. Our country, indeed, our entire world, was struck with a pandemic. A serious virus of almost plague proportions, and of of undetermined cause. Serious, to be sure, but many leaders who liked the division, began to impose draconian rules and regulations. Our National economy was completely shut down. Fear became our companion. Keep your distance from others. Wear face masks. Churches could no longer hold services. Schools closed. Jobs lost. Complete control.
People died. Mostly in hospitals. And regardless if they had cancer, heart disease, diabetes or anyone of many other diseases that annually take the lives of people, their deaths were attributed to COVID-19, a virus that, to be sure, is deadly to many high risk individuals. But one that also presented little to no risk, to young, healthy people.
Pharmaceutical companies began to move with warp speed, to develop a vaccine. After months, as deaths began to taper off from the virus, and vaccines were distributed to the citizenry, new fear and new rules. Prove you are vaccinated. Register. Carry a vaccine card. If you have a natural immunity, it doesn’t matter. You still must be vaccinated. If you don’t, you will be deprived of essential freedoms. You may attend public events, but you will be segregated from the herd; from those with proof of vaccination. More control.
There is so much more to this story. Our country has changed, and will continue to evolve. What will we be like on the other side? I don’t think anyone knows. One thing is for sure: the dawn won’t look the same after this darkness.