Open Letter /2/

Open Letter /2/ 

Dear Reader,

To write that we are living in interesting times is an understatement.  To sit back and witness the proliferation of slurs, insults and innuendos and to say nothing is a relinquishment of one’s essential right as a citizen.

I’ve witnessed many changes in administrations over decades.  I am hard-pressed to recall such venomous, vitriolic and smarmy behavior as I’ve seen throughout the past two + years.  Stooping to the most despicable displays of bullying, consistent strategies of distraction, while slipping in another barb at that one, another demeaning comment about this one.  No side of the aisle is truly exempt in this.



However, this behavior does not stop.  It rolls across our television screens. Is repeated and reprinted, re-interpreted and propounds itself all over social media – day in, day out.


Our democracy is founded on a few, essential principles – one being that all [people] are created equal.  Another principle is that we all have certain, inalienable rights.

Just those two principles are enough to remind me that the founders intended to form a civil society – unlike any other society.

Where did that civility go? How did that lack of civility bring us to this quagmire of dirty, pathetic, embarrassing harangues and hissy fits?  Is this your interpretation of democracy?


We, the people, don’t have to agree.  In fact, we can be almost diametrically opposed on one or more issues.  Neverthemore, when we, as a country, cannot accept and agree to simple, civil discourse, we’re all in very deep trouble.  When we, as a people, can only live in the narrow, bigoted, opposition condition of them v. us, you v. me, then I say: “Stop. Enough. Step back. Take a deep breath. Clear your head of distracting noises.  Begin, again.”

When the pendulum swings to its apex, it must, in time, swing the other way.

My concern in all this is, if we don’t re-establish a more civil national conversation, we will continue to run and stumble (not walk) down this path of insults, embarrassment, contention, lies and destructive behavior.



Is this what we, the people, want?  Is this what you want? Is this your vision of what civil discourse and democracy is?


~ Jessan

Jessan Dunn Otis | Writer

This is the second in a series of three (3) “Open Letter” posts.


2 thoughts on “Open Letter /2/

  1. Felix P. Nater (@FelixNater)

    Is this what we, the people, want? NO Is this what you want? NO! Is this your vision of what civil discourse and democracy is? NO!

    As your Letter thoughtfully struggles with current realities, I appreciate your courage in not only recognizing the reality but in speaking about it. We are living in precarious times not just because of the potential for continued incorrigible behavior but because we are heading down the path of total incivility to civil discourse.

    You categorically imply many reasons for why we should step back and assess and evaluate our current posture, but the one that sticks in my eye like a log is our failure to communicate without feeling that disagreement reflects a loss of ground or position or hatred. So much good has occurred to our Great Nation over the past 250 years yet, it seems like we desire to stay in the past always looking for things to remain the same.

    We have lost the art of communications in the way our “forefathers” spoke and wrote about on the issues. Today, if the discussion isn’t about politics, religion or race there doesn’t seem to be any common ground. But, I remain optimistic because wonderful people like Jessan are not rare we just have to be willing to allow differences of opinion into the conversation.

    Let’s ponder on Jessan Letter not to formulate rationale to hate or attack but rather to be introspective. I know what you mean when we say Let’s Make America Great Again and respect the feeling. So, let’s continue making America Greater by making it a better Country for all. Thanks for sharing Jessan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer Post author

      Felix ~ Your kind words means much to me, as you know. It was/is in the spirit of open and free conversation that I wrote “Open Letter /2/”, just as I wrote “Open Letter /1/”. Ultimately I’m asking myself (and others) is this the kind of discourse and discussions on which our nation was founded? Is this the kind of debate on which a civil society rises and thrives or (somewhat) crashes and burns. As a person of a certain age who’s a proclaimed realist optimist, I have and do look at the “good, the bad and the ugly”. Since I was blessed to be born and raised in this extraordinary country, with all its historic atrocities and profound intentions and potentials, I’ll continue to ask questions, voice my thoughts and opinions from time to time; and, trust that the good will of good folks will, either, join the conversation in the spirit of a lively exchange or move on to their next area of interest. Again, many thanks, Felix. Cheers! ~ Jessan



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