The Fourth and the future

Opinion: Editorials

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The Landmark View

Participating in the Fourth of July parades in Riverside and Brookfield, as the Landmark has done every year for the past 15 years, is a highlight. It's a thrill to see familiar faces, and the not-so familiar, lining Longcommon Road in Riverside and Grand Boulevard in Brookfield, and to hear the good wishes (mainly) shouted in our direction.

The Fourth is a celebration of community and national unity — an annual affirmation of the audacious declaration of what the nation stands for, and against.

This year, the Fourth feels different.

The nation's institutions and principles are under attack by a president and an administration hell-bent on abandoning our closest allies and embracing international pariahs.

In June, the president did his best to legitimize a murderous despot and shake the faith of our Pacific allies, Japan and South Korea, about our nation's reliability in keeping the peace — a peace that is in our nation's best interest.

 And in two weeks, that same president will go to Finland in order to kiss the ring of an autocrat who waged, and continues to wage, a coordinated campaign against free and fair elections in our country.

The president of the United States is courting Russia and North Korea while waging trade wars against the nation's friends and allies. He is destabilizing NATO, a military alliance created by the United States and its allies after World War II to counter Soviet aggression, by treating it as if it were an international protection racket.

At home, there are members of the president's cabinet who engage in brazen corruption, while an investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 campaign, which resulted in the president's election, has produced a raft of indictments and guilty pleas — with more, no doubt, yet to come.

Despite it all, a craven, spineless Congress abets every abuse, from the president's fondness for rounding up asylum seekers and placing them in concentration camps, to the president's embrace of white supremacy, to his continued attacks on foundational institutions of this nation — especially the free press.

There is an election in November that is absolutely pivotal, the results of which can either begin the long march toward undoing the damage this administration has done to the fabric of the United States or aid in the nation's slide toward autocracy.

Yes, that's a startling statement, but all of the evidence points toward it. The situation is dire.

A year from now, we will all gather again to celebrate Independence Day. There will be parades and fireworks and picnics, just like any old year. 

The question is, what will be celebrating independence from?

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Reader Comments

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Comment Policy

Elmer Perkins  

Posted: July 14th, 2018 10:12 AM

A constitutionally limited representative democratic republic [where] . . . the constitution, limits the power of government. We elect representatives, so it's not a pure democracy. But we do elect them by majority rule so it is democratic.

Kevin Kubaczeski  

Posted: July 14th, 2018 7:30 AM

Democratic republic? The US is a constitutional republic. Hard to take anyone seriously that can't get the basics right. Trump 2020.

Steven Spiro  

Posted: July 6th, 2018 7:24 AM

Kudos to the Landmark for attempting to stir things up with its revelatory and hyperbolic opinions in this editorial. I understand the underlying thought process, though. When you're publishing such adrenaline-producing articles as, "Lacrosse May Become Official Sport at RBHS" and "Call to Develop Brookfield Bowl Gets One Response", well, it's only fitting that the attempted stimulatory effect of a rare editorial on national issues follows in the same vein. The revelations that "The nation's institutions and principles are under attack by a president ...", "... the president did his best to legitimize a murderous despot ...", and " ... spineless Congress abets every abuse ... especially (of) the free press" surely must be passed on to luminaries such as Rachel Maddow and Nancy Pelosi to use as talking points. Although I know whoever wrote this piece had editorial license, its fairness and balance aren't lost on me.

Elmer Perkins  

Posted: July 5th, 2018 2:56 PM

Vince, Your too ignorant to recognize an opinion piece written by the newspaper, what a surprise. We are just returning all the respect that was shown to the last president. You conservatards can dish it out, but can't take it. Now wipe that spittle from your lower lip, before you come up out of your cave, I mean your parents basement.

Ken Knasiak  

Posted: July 5th, 2018 2:54 PM

RB Landmark, thank you for taking the time to say what so desperately needs to be said. No vitriol, no spin, no partisan politics, just plain and simple truths. Our country depends upon it's citizens being educated as to it's own governance. I appreciate your paper's candor in carrying out what surely will raise the hackles of many. Democracy dies in darkness. Thank you for keeping the candle lit.

Vince Melone  

Posted: July 5th, 2018 2:23 PM

To whom ever wrote this Article. Your intitiled to your opinion. So, What's your Point?? I don't see one,!! I'm reading just another Trump bashing Idiot, stating YOUR opinion. And to the RBLM, shame on you for letting this make your pages. Funny thing is, I hope you all enjoy the next 7yrs. I endured 8 yrs of #44 deviding this country. Now you hater, crybabies, can suck it up for 7 more yrs. Stop embarrassing yourselfs with your Hatetred towards OUR PRESIDENT!! THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. SHOW SOME GOD DAMN RESPECT. Like us #44 haters. Very distasteful article..............

Paul Halvey  

Posted: July 5th, 2018 11:24 AM

It was hard to be enthusiastic about the Fourth this year. There is a palpable sadness in the realization that the democratic Republic can come to an end - not from an invading force, but from within. The first steps in this direction have been taken, and the effects are rippling and will continue for years.

Tracy Patton  

Posted: July 4th, 2018 6:49 PM

Beautifully stated, and for all the reasons you listed and then some. Happy Independence Day indeed.

Mark Roegner  

Posted: July 4th, 2018 5:27 PM

TRUMP 2020

Elmer Perkins  

Posted: July 4th, 2018 10:40 AM

Well said! This should be on the home page. This country is still very young by historical standards, and anyone who thinks that buffoons like Trump can't do any real damage are wrong. Everyone needs to take voting much more seriously. Have a safe 4th of July!!

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