America has the strength to meet this hour of challenge

The Examiner

These crazy days are unprecedented, at least in my lifetime (60 born in ’60).

People wearing masks and keeping personal space in a whole new way.

Businesses and entire industries crumbling.

Ken Garten

A polarized populace, politically speaking and more than ever personally and emotionally speaking, that is motivated by bitter animus.

Incidents of mob violence and claims of police brutality around the nation are a regular occurrence.

And we have a president who calls members of the other major political party “fascist,” refers to the other party’s presidential candidate as “the puppet of left-wing extremists trying to erase our borders, eliminate our police, indoctrinate our children, vilify our heroes, take away our energy," and asserts that if he loses the upcoming presidential election it would only be because it was “rigged” and he may refuse to accept the result.

In my humble opinion, that’s some pretty crazy, irresponsible, unpresidential and downright ridiculous rhetoric.

And while the president and his party haven’t cornered the market on incivility, fanaticism and goofiness by any means, I have to give them the nod so far.

I’ve heard it said by some very smart and perceptive observers that societal forces are aligning toward a possible all-out civil war, if in fact President Trump does lose the election and professes defiantly to his base that the election was not legitimate and he should remain in power.

And while it might be that these circumstances would represent a threat to the political viability of many less stable governments and the basic security of its people, I really don’t think that is possible in these United States.

We’re too strong. We’re too established. We’ve endured many, many drastic challenges: the Civil War, World War I, the Spanish flu pandemic, the Depression, World War II, Vietnam.

And we’ll survive this, too.

I attribute our country’s enduring greatness to its Constitution. It provides the framework for our beautiful system of laws and government that distinguish us from every other nation.

In other times and places, the societal forces we are seeing in America might well lead to a political meltdown. But our government is not going to be overthrown anytime soon. It will endure. Two hundred and forty-four years, and still going strong.   

As for the election, whatever will happen will happen. And we’ll all be OK.

I wouldn’t live anywhere else.

Ken Garten is a Blue Springs attorney. Email him at