U.S. President Richard Nixon on November 3, 1969, said, “And so tonight—to you, the great silent majority of my fellow Americans—I ask for your support.” Nixon’s plea to this so-called ‘silent majority’ is similar to Mr. Trump’s pandering to his not-so-silent and decreasing supporters.
Both presidents missed the point.
The majority of Americans are neither silent nor rabid. They are mostly reasoned, rarely pugnacious, and care deeply about their country. They are neither “my country, right or wrong” zealots nor “America has failed in its responsibilities” apologists.
If they are guilty of anything, it is an innate sense that America can survive any administration, any do-nothing Congress, or any political crisis. Yet, when faced with such a mess, this soft-spoken majority will rise to the occasion and let their voices be heard at the polls.
They do not focus on party affiliation, Congressional majorities, or rhetoric. What they focus on is ensuring the country steers itself back to the slightly conservative side of centrist policies.
It has been the hallmark of the most successful periods in American history.
Resisting involvement in European internecine wars until it became necessary.
Formulating trade and foreign policies guided by a modicum of consideration for any adverse effect on the rest of the world.
Implementing meaningful government programs to sustain and support people in need while assuring an equal opportunity to rise out of poverty through access to education and hard work.
Some would argue we have stepped away from that America. I would agree. Post-World War II America went through growing pains as a world power, stumbling in places, i.e., Vietnam, South America, while achieving great things elsewhere.
The changing nature of asymmetric warfare, the growing number of nuclear-armed countries, and globalization has changed the geopolitical world we live in.
And we must change with it.
The fissure of partisan politics has grown over the last several Presidential administrations, hastened by the death of a Congress once guided by the art of compromise.
Through this, the majority of Americans may have lost their focus. But no more. The rising tide of change is evident everywhere. No longer will the majority of Americans sit back and let the screamers and the schemers control the field. No longer will lobbyists pull the strings of the PAC money addicted Congress. No longer will the country suffer a President who embarrasses America on the world stage
The soft-spoken majority will not raise their voices, chant slogans, or poison the public discourse with lies or ‘fake’ anything. They will take to the ballot box and send a clear and unambiguous message.
“Give us back the America we love.”