Reaffirm democracy | My Kingston Life

I’ll have to confess that this month’s communiqué didn’t present itself in the usual bubbling-up-from-my soul manner. It’s been more like a veil of unease with occasional sparks of fear that has draped itself over my psyche. Concern for my country and the world is top of mind for me. So much is happening in quick succession that it is hard to keep up with the latest developments.

Instability has begun to pierce holes in the fabric of what we thought we could count on, in and from our government. In the midst of my bucolic life in Kingston, I felt compelled this month to address forces that have disturbed my rural peace.

  • We have a Secretary of Education who doesn’t believe in public schools.
  • An enemy of the Environmental Protection Agency is now its director. Bill HR 861 that will terminate EPA has already been introduced in congress.
  • A Klu Klux Klan aficionado is the chief policy advisor to the president.
  • An illegal ban on immigrants stopped and stranded hundreds of vetted travellers on their way to the United States, at airports and in the air.
  • Congress has begun to eviscerate portions of Affordable Care Act as a prelude to ending our national health care system — with no known plan for replacement. They are just going to leave the patient lying on the operating table, bleeding. It’s easy to do because Congressional members have their healthcare paid for by the citizenry. I think that should be suspended until all citizens have full health coverage.
  • Our first Secretary of State had no government or diplomatic experience. He also has ties to Russia and the Middle East, which could have colored his execution of policies. His resignation has been asked for and given. He is now under investigation for improper communications with Russia.
  • The choice for Secretary of Labor wanted to replace fast-food workers with robots because, as he said, “they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case.” He mercifully removed himself from nomination the day before his Senate vote.

Presidential orders fly out of the Oval Office like confetti on a parade. The leader of the free world tweets his mental burps and emotional tantrums in the middle of the night. This is his main communication tool. He talks like he tweets — in short phrases and with a limited vocabulary and no nuance. He’s been clocked at a third-grade level vocabulary. Our nation has become the laughing stock of Europe and all other continents. Europeans have a great sense of humor that you can see at

“Geez, Ryan that’s a lot to cogitate,” you say. I know, I know. So, I’ve come up with some action items that I hope will counter, put a check on, or at least mitigate the damages being visited on our nation. I invite all Americans to come up with ways to preserve our Democracy.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

  • Join one of the neighborhood groups that are forming to act together with impact.
  • March against government actions impinging on our rights or that exhibit wrong-headed policy.
  • Write and/or call congressional members to support your views. To obtain their phone numbers, text your ZIP code to 520-200-2223.
  • Write letters to the editor.
  • Donate to organizations carrying on work you believe in – environmental, political, citizen action.
  • Invest and divest in alignment with your principals.
  • Get involved politically at the local level.
  • Sign petitions that support your beliefs.
  • Work to eliminate the Electoral College.
  • Assist in voter registration.

It’s been hard not be angry toward this or that, him or her. Anger directed outward has to pass through my emotional body and it gets kind of icky after a while. Currently, I am endeavoring to engage my emotions and actions toward remedies, rather than being mad at people that I believe are destructive to our democracy and peace in the world.

Evidently, St. Paul agrees with me. “Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” Romans 12:21

Good is in the eye of the beholder. Currently, there’s a big disagreement on what good is but we are all free to express our opinions. That’s because we live in a democracy. Let’s keep it that way.

— Judith Ryan is a writer and a photographer. Contact her at