The United States of America is currently under siege from multiple fronts. If allowed to continue, the country we all know and love will be unrecognizable in a short period of time. The clock is already ticking.

For decades, the beacon of democracy to the rest of the world, the champion of human rights, women’s rights, rights for the handicapped, the oppressed, and the minorities has been the United States of America. All that has changed since January 2017. It now seems that the federal government is saying to the people, “It is every man, woman and child on their own.” Protections of rights are systematically being eroded and dismantled.

It is not like we, the citizens, were not warned. We saw people with disabilities mocked, women verbally insulted and physically berated, and no one or nothing in society was safe from attack, especially the members of the media. All the while this was happening, we were being assured day after day, “No one has more respect for ________________(you fill in the blank) than I do.” All lies!

At every turn in the last nine months, some of the most vile and unqualified individuals have been nominated to and placed in positions of power. They have absolutely no business being in those positions. Most seem hell-bent on dismantling the government entity in their charge, and/or creating as much chaos and damage to the American people and our institutions as possible. Most are also initiating policy changes based on religious dogma rather than the Constitution. They are not recognizing that the Constitution of the United States has the ultimate power over the people–not the Bible!

As if to add insult to injury, the ugly underbelly of our society which had been a mostly hidden undercurrent of intolerance and violence has been unleashed. Hate groups and individuals now feel that they have been legitimized because they see their federal government “leaders” acting out in vile, despicable, formerly unacceptable ways and even sanctioning without criticism their actions in one way or another. The social fabric of what is acceptable behavior has a huge tear in it, which is ripping wider with each passing day.

The amount of influence from the wealthy and ultraconservative intolerance is at an all time high. They have bought off the Congressmen to do their bidding, which is intended to only benefit themselves and set the country back to the society of the early/mid 1900s with al the prejudice and discrimination that this country has spent decades progressing beyond. Among the greatest influence is the National Rifle Association and the lies that this organization has perpetuated on the American public for the most recent decades. They, more than any other person or organization, should be held accountable for the mass shootings plaguing this country. The blood of the hundred killed and wounded most recently in Las Vegas is on their hands and at their feet.

The culmination, however for me, was the United Nations vote on the ban against murdering LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender) individuals just for being who they are. For the United States to vote in opposition with some of the most oppressive countries in the world is unconscionable. [Editorial Note: “The Shocking US vote not to condemn the death penalty for LGBT” www.cnn.com/2017/10/05] The United States has been at the forefront in promoting equal protections for the LGBT community and women’s rights around the world for decades. To now vote against our own philosophy and reputation in the world is appalling.

The responsibility for these changes lands squarely on the shoulders of the current resident in the White House. He alone has set the tone and policy for the governmental departments and Nikki Haley, our current United Nations representative.

We, the people of the United States have the opportunity and the responsibility to stand up against the current attack on our collective values. We must come together and say loudly and clearly, “Enough is Enough! We do not accept this insanity. This is not who we are as a people and as a country in the 21st century.” We can do this. We have to find our unified voice and shout loud and clear. We cannot be passive and sit back and wait for someone else to act. Each person must be the one to act and act now–LOUD AND PROUD! The future of our country and world reputation is literally on the line NOW.

[This article is original to Columnist with a View. Richard Moberly, an outspoken critic of bigotry, anti-social behavior, totalitarianism and the current administration lives in Jacksonville, Florida.]