Why Words Alone Can’t Rescue American Democracy

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Joe Biden’s trip to France for the 80th anniversary D-Day celebration was a well-orchestrated and poignant reminder of how important the United States’ leadership has been in promoting freedom and democracy across Europe and around the world.

Biden intended for his speech to reach both a domestic and international audience. Biden believed that the sacrifices Americans made to save Europe from fascism, would inspire his contemporary.

This noble goal is unlikely to yield big rewards.

Biden showed his humanity as he visited the Normandy American Cemetery. Biden displayed his humane decency as he visited the Normandy American Cemetery.

The president said that on Thursday, “we are aware” of the dark forces against which these heroes fought 80 years ago. “They never fade. They’re eternal. The battle between dictature (and) freedom (is never-ending).

We cannot submit to dictators or bow down to bullies. If we did this, we would never forget what happened on these holy beaches.

Biden mixed straight talk about the dangers of democracy with an appeal for Americans to imitate the actions of the soldiers who landed in Normandy in the past.

Biden told his audience at Pointe-du-Hoc that they had “kept the freedom light bright” and encouraged them to “keep the Mission.”

Biden said, “They are calling us now. While they don’t expect us to climb these cliffs to the top, they ask that we remain true to American values.

We can understand that he uses inspiring words. However, when we consider the current state in which democracy is being practiced in the United States we realize that speaking about battles on which America has achieved glory will not work.

Americans are sadly ignorant about their past. D-Day, for example, is not well understood by many Americans.

It’s hard to convince people who don’t understand what you are doing to follow.

Biden’s audience is less confident in heroes than the members of President Obama’s generation, despite their knowledge of D-Day and the heroic acts of those who fought for our freedom.

A Harvard University professor, Peter Gibbon argued more than 20 years ago that Americans do not believe in heroes. Gibbon listed several indicators that “public heroics has disappeared”. ” ”

“It’s not possible to have autonomy. Our genes and our environment condition us all.

Gibbon stated, “In an age where instant communication is the norm, there is no time to stop and consider accuracy, balance, or integrity. The media portrays a world filled with sleaze. There are few heroes, nor any honor.

Even though war heroes still face suspicion, their status has not changed over the past twenty years.

Dennis Aftergut, Dennis Aftergut, and I wrote that in 2022 “Heroism has fallen so low that America voted for Donald Trump who shamelessly vilified McCain, the Navy Pilot shot down during the Vietnam War. McCain refused to leave his captivity until he was sure that all of his fellow POWs had been released. Donald Trump said that McCain was a heroic man simply because he had been captured.

Biden’s nostalgia for the “Greatest Generation” and Biden’s cynicism are more appealing to Americans today. Trump didn’t pay a penalty for his remarks about McCain, or for calling war-dead suckers, losers and losers.

Biden’s representation of the United States in France was admirable. His task is to convince the cynical and irreverent Americans of the importance of D-Day Heroes, and their survival.

He will find it difficult to accomplish this.