It was always thrilling to go into Washington D.C. I have always loved seeing the Capitol gleaming with its dome representing the voice of the people, and the Supreme Court with its majestic white facade standing for truth and justice for all, and the White House with the leader of a free nation who led the world in promoting equality, human rights, and democracy. I have always loved Washington for what it represented to all Americans and to the world. D.C. used to make me stir with pride to be part of this great nation. This past week with people around the world, I watched in horror as the US Capitol was desecrated and defiled.
In 2017, after living in DC for almost 30 years, I have had to move away from Washington. It was too painful to see the Capitol and be reminded of the disfunction of our legislative branch, or to drive by the White House and feel the mood of distrust, anger, and chaos oozing from its facade. It hurt me to go by the Department of Justice and realize that the integrity that lies therein has been denigrated and smudged by this administration, or to see the Department of State that has literally been relegated to a dysfunctional side line by daily tweets and political scheming from the executive branch. Thank God, there are still many patriotic federal workers in agencies all over Washington who are loyally doing their jobs, serving the American people, and trying to safeguard our national interest. As did our US Congress this past week.
But, when I visit, I can feel that the city is sad, the people in it are demoralized, and we as a nation are discouraged and cynical.
We must all rail against this and participate in our democracy. There is only a flicker of light and hope that lingers in my beloved city. 2021, hopefully, may be the year we save not only our nation, but resurrect our dear city to its past glory. We all must support the new Biden-Harris administration. It is the patriotic thing to do to salvage the democracy we cherish and the city we love. All Americans have a stake in this. We see, now, how precious it is and yet, how fragile. It is up to us, the American people to defend it.
Joanne Grady Huskey is an author, speaker and coach. She is Co-Founder and Vice President of iLive2Lead Young Women's Leadership Summit, Co-Founder of Global Adjustments (India); and of the American International School of Chennai (India).