There has arisen out of the ashes of freedom, a mighty river of opportunity that is broader, deeper, swifter and more powerful than any in our history.
It has erupted from thousands of small springs across the globe and it may grow into an undammable force that can sweep away the corruption and detritus of the unrestrained greed and power that have been slowly, but inexorably, poisoning the vitality and beauty of our democracies.
For far too long, the wealth and power of nations have been held in the tight fists of a privileged elite that dole out meager sustenance to the millions who labor to support them, and who use the guise of government to sustain control, ensuring the status quo.
Yet, Saturday a mighty river did flow.
The Women’s March on Washington started with a few female friends discussing the blatant vitriolic disrespect arising from the U.S. presidential election.
And what began as a trickle of voices across the internet, grew into the swell of millions of like-minded people — brown, black, yellow, red and white; lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, straight, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jew, atheist and agnostic — gathered to march for the rights and dignity of all.
They flowed like rivers in the streets of cities all across the world, drowning the voices of undeserved privilege, suppression, exploitation, denigration and disdain.
There is power in that current. Its wellspring is the internet; its channel is social media.
Never before in our history have we had such an opportunity to communicate, to disseminate knowledge, to promulgate our own values and to obviate the narcissism of those who would play us like their puppets.
Once the media played the role of bell ringer, alerting us to dangers, announcing assemblies, and calling to arms those who would fight against injustice. But where today is our Thomas Paine; where are the broadsides of the printing press decrying the abuses?
Our media have been co-opted, corrupted, bought out and controlled by the very same privileged one-percent that have become our defacto King Georges or Marie Antoinettes.
But the internet and social media are poised to become a new Fourth Estate, or perhaps a totally new Fifth Estate, to help nullify the monopoly of power.
My hope is that these voices, our voices, will ring out across the internet, over and over, alerting us to the true power of the people. It will call us, not to arms, but to the ballot box where the vote can be wielded as powerfully as the sword to bring down evil, fascism and tyranny.
As John Kennedy once said, “... if by a liberal they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their liberties ... if that is what they mean by a liberal, then I am proud to say I’m a liberal.”
This may be the legacy of the audacity of hope. Let freedom ring.
David Reber of Nicholasville is a licensed psychologist.