One man (or woman, to be clear) — no matter how powerful he is or thinks he is — can declare a one-man war on a global pandemic that is beyond the reach of all the authoritarian machinations at his disposal and expect to succeed, not to mention, WIN. No health crisis can be faced as a WAR unless the ruler in question--and there are a fair number of them around the world besides Trump — uses the same old hackneyed phrase of sacrificing for. . .for what?


A return to casino capitalism, hence restoring the Great Rich/Poor Divide? To keep wages way below what would narrow this greed-ridden gap that is beyond any pretense of sound reason? Can the majority of us even hope to one day actually be paid a living wage, whether for skilled or unskilled labor or pink-blue-white-collar (name your color), and rise to a standard of living that elevates us to levels of economic dignity and higher ethical purpose?


But consider that we the people can educate ourselves about this greed, which results in untold billions of dollars being force-fed to a Leviathan named "War Machine." Consider further that this beast stomps its way everywhere on earth and crushes our spirits while at the same time demanding unquestioned obedience and sacrifice.


Education, you ask? Absolutely. What kind? A broader education with much more depth. An education that refocuses on our history, much of it hidden or secret. An education that requires rigorous questioning of our past. And an education that reveals how we're being duped by empathy-challenged (mis)leaders like Trump and his ilk and stage-managed on a global scale to, as bears repeating, sacrifice time and again till death do us part, that is, those of us deemed expendable.


Meanwhile, wars rage on against nothing new under the sun, as long as the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor. Also ponder the possibility that as long as compliant individuals serve the pecuniary and partisan interests of these — let me be unequivocally blunt about my suspicions — mostly rich white supremacist males, then even nonwhite persons, lightweight Christians, women who say "yea" and every programmed and loyal follower who wants to keep this Great Divide in place will be tolerated, perhaps even welcomed.


Rise up! A Great Uniting is urgently imperative to restore this country to a meaningful convergence. We need a Golden Rule that extends way beyond the worship of the false god of money, which a very few benefit from and too many suffer under, struggle with and surrender to.


The time is now! For what? To evolve beyond deep-seated racism, transgender bias, education deprivation, zealous religions of retribution and stereotypes of any kind that serve the duplicitous money-mad creeps who have conducted this nightmarish show for way too long.


A politics of division leads to a people's collision, and we're not collectively self-aware enough to know it. Yet.


From the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-racist uprisings and protests and relevant and intense questioning of excessive militant law enforcement, just maybe there is a Grand Lesson to be learned. Maybe we can learn to follow the Real Golden Rule with the highest of high purposes, which is living our love, loving to live and everyone — yes, even the humbled rich — seeing the light that shines on everyone as our brother and sisters and as neighbors everywhere we can care about and help if the need arises. The need is great now!


I will never stop dreaming what, in essence, is a World Dream, one taking firm and healthy root in America. Can we at least start making this dream a living reality?


Richard Joel Holmes, Hays