We are now poised in expectancy of the torrents of American greatness soon roll down like mighty waters. But one wonders which actions taken by the Trump group, be it the removal of restraints to environmental degradation, the bloating of the defense budget, the baseless allegations of wiretapping, the insults to the Chancellor of Germany, the abolition of funding for the arts and Meals-on-Wheels, the threatened trade wars with China and Mexico, the destabilization of NATO, the carte blanch to Russia to establish puppet tyrannies in Libya and Ukraine, or the 24 million people soon to be put out of health care access — that will provide the aquifer for this deluge.

There have been few times in American history when public policy expressed public opinion, and those were when America was great. America was great when Congress passed the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, but only after 600,000 had died on the battlefields of the Civil War. America was great when the legislatures passed labor laws and workplace safeguards, but only after thousands of strikers had their heads broken open in the streets by government and company goons. America was great when laws allowed women to vote, but only after millions of women had endured rape and oppression and taken to the streets to be bludgeoned by the status quo. America was great when African-Americans shed their blood in the streets over decades to roll back injustice and obtain recognition of human dignity through the civil rights and voting acts, but only after thousands died and were imprisoned. America was great when millions took to the streets to protest the unprovoked invasion and bludgeoning of a peasant nation in Southeast Asia, but only after an industrial scale slaughter had run its course, and I have seen little to call great since then.

It is in the streets, not the polling places, where American greatness has been achieved.

Tony Baker

St. Simons Island